The mountains are calling, and I must go. – John Muir
I am very privileged to live in a place of such immense natural beauty. On my walks home in the fall, I can see Mt. Rainier blushing in the sunset. The Sound sends salt breezes across my tongue. The trees are regal and tall, and sidewalk gardens grow wild and lush. My environment is alive.
My friend Maria and I ventured to the mountains to enjoy the cool, damp, green shade of the trails. On the way up to the peak, we couldn't help but smile. Our endorphins were propelling our feet forward, and we could feel the natural energy from the forest in our fingertips. When we reached the top, we drank in the views.
The view of our challenge from the beginning of the trail
Maria and our companion Coco
The view from the top
Not enough can be said about the power of nature. The cradling qualities of lakes and forests, or the terrible wrath of storms and oceans. Many view the great outdoors as an escape from the city, from "it all." The place where God* is. I find God in all corners of my world. In the human ingenuity that built skyscrapers, the human creativity that learned to sculpt and make fire. God is also in the remote untouched, wild territory.
If all around me is considered sacred, then it makes sense to treat everyone and everything with respect. This is, of course, easier said than done, but as I go through my workweek in my office, I can carry with me the reminder, and I can practice, one day at a time.
*I use God here as a placeholder for any and all deities, higher powers, forces. I haven't found a word that captures what I'm trying to express more aptly than God. One of my friends uses Guide, which I love, but gets lost in translation without context. Please feel free to substitute your own beliefs into the reading of this text.