“what are you doing here?”
The echinacea blooms have peaked in our garden, attracting a variety of butterflies. I have enjoyed watched swallowtails dance and float in the wind as they seek out nectar from these flowers.
“What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:29
Not only does God breathe with the sparrow, but the butterfly as. How infinite and eternal is God’s goodness, love and tenderness for us? I often wonder why I can be so forgetful of the delicate way God holds His Creation. His Presence never falters, despite the storms of life.
Meg and I enjoyed our annual trip camping trip high above Hells Canyon, near Hat Point in Wallowa County. The Seven Devils mountains in Idaho rise above the Snake River, making Hells Canyon the deepest gorge in the US. The view is one of those “million dollar” experiences.. If this were private property accessible by an easy road, a five star resort would be perched here, hosting hundreds of people a day.. Instead, amidst gorgeous wildflowers, skies and clouds, science and tranquility, Meg and I rested in these views and feelings alone.
For at least a decade I have wanted to visit to Honeycombs in the Owyhee Country of south eastern Oregon. Finally, after turning back in my earlier Suburu and my Highlander attempts, I purchased a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. The road is not extreme 4 wheeling, but it does require clearance, caution, and a good skid plate if an error is made. Fortunately, no errors, and the trip was uneventful. I went with my Pacific Crest Trail hiking partner, Bob. This Owyhee country is remote and spectacular!
Thirteen Scouts, four adults with four rafts enjoyed three days on the Grande Ronde river from June 16 to June 18.. Three of the boats were involved in rescuing a party of five whose boat had flipped . Morgan, Nate, Tim, Caleb, Garren righted the flipped raft and collected floating gear, and helped out a father and son who had landed on a rock near shore,. Nick skillfully maneuvered the second Scout raft while Lucy, Kadyn, Elias pulled a father and two young children out of the river, got them to shore and provided them dry clothes. Eric, James, Devin in the third boat heated up water with a jet boil stove, and furnished food and drink to the the children and father. It was a solid performance by the Scouts. Greg in the lead boat, was ahead of the accident. He had a campsite ready for us when we arrived. David, Alex, Kyler, and Eli had walked up stream and alerted us where to land, and helped pull us in.
“The heart of prayer is to recognize the presence and action of God and to consent to it. We do not have to go anywhere; God is already with us….Faith tells us that we already have God. The most intimate relationship with God is to be completely present to God in whatever we are doing.” Fr. Thomas Keating.
The Mt Emily Recreation Area is less than a fifteen minute drive from where we live. When the Boise Cascade timber company decided to sell its land for home development on Mt Emily, a group of dedicated and far sighted people raised funds for Union County to purchase this land. The MERA provides trails for hiking, mountain biking, off road motor cycles and 4 wheelers and horses. These multiple users cooperate to make maintenance and trail development happen.
Meg and I have enjoyed hiking, biking, snow shoeing, and cross country skiing here. This spring has been particularly intense for us. We have hiked here several times a week, watching the first round of wild flowers appear, peak, and slowly fade until next year. Our minds and memories have enjoyed wrapping around this nuanced and delicate beauty.
“If I could stop time and contemplate the true beauty of a given moment, my eyes would widen and my jaw would drop. (Wait, I can do that! That’s why I photograph!) ” Dewitt Jones
For Good Friday
let all stand still
Sun and moon
Let the ground
gape in stunned
Let it weep
as it receives
what it thinks
it will not
Let it groan
as it gathers
who was thought