I am walking the ridge of the mountain – at the very edge of the sky – and I am wrapped in cloud. I feel its pinprick coolness on my face. I watch it swirl and move around me – never quite within reach, but never far away. I can see the path in front of me – but not the end of the trail – not the depth of the valley below, nor the crest of the ridge further ahead. I am constrained to knowing the next few steps, and leaving the rest to faith. Not a bad lesson.
If I will but stop to notice, there is great beauty in the small range of my vision. The stones are darkened and brightened by moisture -a surprising mixture of green and black and red and white – they tell me of the deep diversity within even the depths of the mountain. By the side of the path, the tiniest flowers bloom in tufts of moss, nestled in the crevices of rock. The thin mountain air is sweet and clean, as is the tumbling water of the stream that seems to start from nowhere.
Grace upon grace upon grace, spoken in quiet, echoed in the hushed voices of friends and the sharp call of the pica from the rocks. It is not hard to believe, here in the wonder of nature – awed by the understated power of the rocks and the thundering majesty of a mountain storm. I store up these memories, these sensations, to carry me through the press of work and hurry of obligation that always rushes upon me when I return to my day-to-day.
Grace upon grace awaits me at my desk, as well, if I can but remember to notice. There, the fog of my day often dulls the edges of my awareness. I forget to look at the small blessings spread upon my path.
It is the tilt of my spirit that can change the fog of indifference to the cloud of mystery. And so I ask you, Holy One, to rouse my spirit to that mystery, each day. And having been so fortified, help me walk your grace into the world that I inhabit, an emissary of your love in the midst of uncertainty.
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[Looking forward to next week in the mountains.]