“Gratitude is the most fruitful way of deepening your consciousness that you are not an “accident,” but a divine choice. It is important to realize how often we have had chances to be grateful and have not used them. When someone is kind to us, when an event turns out well, when a problem is solved, a relationship restored, a wound healed, there are very concrete reasons to offer thanks: be it with words, with flowers, with a letter, a card, a phone call, or just a gesture of affection. . . . Every time we decide to be grateful it will be easier to see new things to be grateful for. Gratitude begets gratitude, just as love begets love.” Henri Nouwen
Oregon Trail emigrants camped here after their first climb over the Blue Mountains’ steep hillsides. Stream side camping and interpretive panels help visitors imagine the emigrants’ time here in the 1840s.
Fall brings numerous praying mantis to our yard. They are elegant insects and I always look forward to seeing them.
While I was along the Grande Ronde river photographing the fall colors, I saw a slight movement on a downed log I was crossing. The images below are a conehead katydid, a creature I had never seen before.
“Easily recognized by their slanted faces and pointed or rounded cones that extend from their foreheads, the conehead katydids look like insect battering-rams, ready to poke holes in whatever gets in their way. (Actually, scientists do not know the adaptive significance of the cones.) Coneheads have long and slender wings, and most are strong fliers. While some species are only an inch long, others grow to nearly 3 inches in length, ranking them among the longest of our native katydids. Nearly all species occur in two color phases, green and brown, with proportions of the two color phases varying widely between species. This variation in color has not been carefully studied, but it is thought to be adaptive, perhaps making it more difficult for predators, such as birds, to develop a stable search image of their prey. They eat grasses of all kinds.”
“Dear Lord, help me to remember that you gave me life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures You created for me–to be aware of the beauty that surrounds me: the marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember all these things come from You. ”
Nelson Mandela described the African term “ubuntu,” referring to the fact that everyone, no matter their color, religion, or even their status as a friend or enemy, is tied to everyone else. “The question is,” says Mandela, “are you going to enable the community around you to be able to improve?” Forgiveness is about enabling our communities to improve. From William A Barry, “Changed Heart, Changed World”
“What is important for me is not if our civilization will survive or not but if we can continue to live with hope, and I really think we can because our Lord has given us his promise that he will stay with us at all times. He is the God of the living. He has overcome evil and death and his love is stronger than any form of death and destruction. That is why I feel that we should continually avoid the temptation of despair and deepen our awareness that God is present in the midst of all the chaos that surrounds us and that that presence allows us to live joyfully and peacefully in a world so filled with sorrow and conflict.” Henri Nouwen
Iwetemlaykin is Nez Perce for “at the edge of the lake.” Established as an Oregon State Park in 2009, it lies between Joseph and Wallowa Lake. It is an exceptional place to hike and enjoy quiet beauty.
What the Apostle Paul wrote nearly two thousand years ago still resonates is our lives today:
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12
Another backpacking trip with Bob into the Elkhorn Mountains, This spectacular alpine setting is only an hour’s drive from La Grande. Alluring hikes to wildflower basins and granite peaks abound. We have often seen mountain goats. Angell Basin is just one of many places to explore.