I experience this on Mother's Day 2008. When my children and I arrived at our car at the end of the hike by the waterfalls, we found that the passenger's seat window was broken and our picnic lunch from New Seasons market gone along with the chocolate bar and Mother's Day gift my daughter had made for me. Even so, I did not descend to the sadness I felt before the hike. The high of the hike was so high, I just descended to an ordinary mood of neither depressed nor elated.
Whether we are high on the beauty of nature or merely "fine," we are able to move forward through prayer, mediation and learning new relationship skills much more easily than when we are struggling to keep sadness and anger and pain at bay.
One of my favorite places to heal myself by hiking is Larch Mountain near Portland, Oregon. Multnomah Creek arises in the caldera of Larch Mountain below the peak -- Sherrod Point -- and then descends to world famous Multnomah Falls. My favorite times to hike on Larch Mountain are June, October and early November when the mountain is often shrouded in mist creating a mystical atmosphere.
Below are photos from a recent walk on Larch Mountain along with my reflections and meditations inspired by my walk. Soon a my You Tube (Healing is a Sacred Journey) site will include a slideshow with these meditations. An older, less developed video can already be found there:Larch Mountain Meditation Walk ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-GVKiQZLhw ).
Larch Mountain Fall Walk
….and passes trees bent by many seasons of snow.
Sometimes we must hold on to life tightly as our base of support erodes away…..
On the steep, rocky slopes trees grow spindly and stunted…
Do our circumstances leave too little fertile soil for us to grow straight and strong?
Can we improve our circumstances?
The narrow rocky path leads away..
We return to the broad, paved path leading upwards into the misty abyss.....
A narrow boundary fence keeps us from falling…
Boundaries keep us safe, but if they are too high, they can obscure our view, hamper our relationships.
Do you have careful boundaries in your relationships with others?
Can you think of a time when your boundaries were too low and you did not keep yourself safe? What happened? What can you do to keep yourself safe in the future?
Can you think of a time when your boundaries were too high and impeded your relationships with others?
Sometimes we fall into the abyss when we do not keep safe boundaries. How do we heal our wounds?
I heal by coming to Larch Mountain....
I Pause where the rocky peak falls off into the unseen caldera below…....
Life clings to the cliff face. Each niche offers an opportunity for survival.
I lose myself in thought…..
I lose my losses in awe and mystery and the myriad patterns, textures and colors of rocks and plants: Lichens and mosses, Buckwheat and Penstemon.
Then I continue on to the top, to the viewpoint….
…the steep pitch of the peak drops off into the abyss...
Heading back down the path to the parking lot…....
I find a dead tree, it’s bark peeling into piles around it’s base.
Sometimes life’s wounds lay us bare to the flesh…..shedding the rough exterior that protects our core....making us vulnerable...
How are you vulnerable?
Can we find new life and new growth when our wounds lay bare our souls?
Can you find a virtue or a strength in your vulnerability?
We come to the fork in the path. I take the path not taken before…
...and find the ghosts of a long ago Forest Service campground.....
Sometimes the ghost of our past haunt us. What ghosts lurk in you mind from a past half forgotten?
I return to the path through the forest and follow….
........where it leads....
…..full circle back to the beginning and the journey home.......
Copyright 2013 Virginia Pickles Jones, All Rights Reserved
This blog is being made into a slide show for the You Tube Channel: Healing is a Sacred Journey
Check out these two slideshows already posted: