Sunday, April 20, 2014

Wallowa Lake in Late Winter: Finding Beauty in the Present Moment

Few visitors brave winter snows to drive over the passes from Pendleton or LaGrande or Milton Freewater, Oregon, to visit Wallowa Lake even in March.

Visit and your only company may be a pair of….

…unfriendly Mallards who prefer privacy.

At the north end of the lake you can find a dock.

Walk out along the dock and contemplate the winter sun peaking through the clouds over the glacial moraine damning the lake.

Sit still and be quiet.

Let the beauty of the place and the moment fill you.

Fifteen thousand years ago this land was ice.

Glaciers covered the Wallowa Mountains.

Eon after eon, snow fell and became ice.

Eon after eon, ice ground the granite to silt.

As the ice flowed slowly downhill, it carried the silt to the edge of the flow and built the moraines.

When the ice melted, the moraines damned the melt water to form Wallowa Lake.

Now in late winter, the lake is ice free.

On this still day the water reflects the mountains above

and the moraines below.

Walk along the water's edge and reflect….

Reflect on the peace…

Reflect on the beauty….

Just sit still and breathe.  Close your eyes.  Breathe.

Open your eyes and take in the mountains and moraines reflecting on the lake.

In this moment what do you feel?

On the way home we find we have companions after all.

Shy dear graze in a farmer's pasture…

Questions for Reflection:

What do you do for healing?  Where do you find peace?

Great devastation from a glacial era long ago formed Wallowa Lake.  Can you find beauty in your own life after deep emotional and physical wounds?

What dams in your life keep you from flowing freely?

Directions to Wallowa Lake:

Head into Wallowa Valley from LaGrande on Highway 82 and proceed to Joseph.

Or head into Wallowa Valley from Milton-Freewater, Oregon.  Go south from Milton-Freewater on Highway 11.  Take Highway 204 -- the Weston Elgin Highway -- to Elgin where it merges with Highway 82.

Follow Highway 82 to Joseph.

Head south from Joseph on the Wallowa Lake Highway -- Highway 82. 

© 2014 Virginia Pickles Jones

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