“Around us life bursts with miracles—a glass of water a ray of sunshine , a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; earth that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. Where we are tired and feel discouraged by life’s daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.” Thich Nhat Hahn.
The Mt Emily Recreation Area above La Grande and the the Grande Ronde Valley in Union County Oregon calls recreationists anytime of year–hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing in the winter, and mountain biking, riding dirt bikes, hiking the rest of the year. We are so blessed and fortunate to have such a great place to enjoy so near to us.
A blend of Zion and Bryce, Leslie Gulch is Oregon’s own fantasy- land of remarkable geology features. From the whimsical to the massive, these gaseous rhyolite tuff deposits of fine volcanic ash and rock fragments have been sculpted over the eons to draw mind and body into a special wonder.
Leslie Gulch is located in the southeast corner of Oregon. The gravel road leaves Hwy 95 north of Jordan Valley, and travels west, ultimately leading down to the midpoint of the Owyhee Reservoir.
“All the flowers God has made are beautiful. The rose in its glory and the lily in its whiteness do not rob the tiny violet of its sweet smell, or the daisy of its charming simplicity.” Thérèse of Lisieux
Although Hells Canyon is a formidable barrier between Oregon and Idaho, extremely hot and dry in the summer, beautiful wildflowers bloom in the spring along the Snake River, and on the high benches. Heavenly is a much better way to describe it. I have day hiked the McGraw section for the last five years. It is a wonderful way to be reminded of His Creation!
“Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life– gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God– it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “…unless you…become as little children…” (Matthew 18:3). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “…believe also in Me” (John 14:1), NOT, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in– but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
I recently returned from the high benches above the Snake River in Hells Canyon. The wildflowers are always remarkable as they briefly burst forth. I never know how many there will be, nor how long they will bloom before they fade. However, I do know, they will be there; that I will be surprised, and that I am always with God.
“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting–a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower and thank God for it is as a cup of blessing.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am making one last post to share the beauty Meg and I experienced on the remote beaches of the Catlin coastal country on the southern tip of South Island, New Zealand. This area, and specifically Nugget Beach and Nugget Lighthouse, will always be a special memory.
“God of never failing light, you who created the bright lights of the sky, you who have no hint of darkness, grant that your flame of hope will our intention to serve you, and to inflame and purify our actions with your love. Amen”