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”
Continuing the theme of the “Camelot” magic of the Catlins.
We spent three nights at Nugget Beach at a wonderful place, the Nugget Lodge. I had reserved a room at this two unit motel four months earlier, and 8,000 miles away. I was thrilled to arrive and see this incredible beach. I really had no idea that a choice from an internet site would turn out so spectacular.
The first picture shows Pauline, our gracious hostess, pointing out the beach. We stayed in the “Sea Lion” unit. We would watch sea lions on the beach in the late afternoon and early morning. Nugget Lighthouse framed the view in the other direction. An isolated beach lay below the road to the lighthouse. From a blind above the beach, we could watch yellow eyed penguins come ashore in the early evening.
I walked the beach early each morning. Sunrises were superb. A storm blew in the last morning—wind and light rain. I had planned to stay indoors. Fortunately Meg wanted to take a walk nonetheless. Unbelievably, a full rainbow appeared, giving us an unforgettable memory and confirming that you must be “there,” despite the weather, if you want memorable images.
The beach has become my mental retreat location where I can truly renew myself with its serenity and memories of deep and stimulating time shared there with Meg. We will come again.
There is a “Camelot” feel to the Catlins in the far southern coast of South Island, New Zealand. Meg and I had never visited this location. It is remote and sparsely populated by some of the kindest, most self reliant New Zealanders we have met in our ten years of traveling this wonderful country.
Rugged coasts with long deserted beaches, rocky coastlines with high breaking waves, endless green hills, many filled with sheep, dense fern and tree forests with paths leading to waterfalls. and marine life such as sea lions, penguins, dolphins make the allure of the Catalans irresistible.
Based at Nugget Point Lodge on the beach of the same name, we explored the beautiful and lush fern forest that led to McLean Falls. This walk/hike was one of the most delightful and emotionally invigorating we have taken in New Zealand. The trail was cool and damp, with wonderful surprises of mosses, ferns, trees and small streams before we reached the falls themselves. Hopefully, we can visit again.
“Easter says to us that despite everything to the contrary, his will for us will prevail, love will prevail over hate, justice over injustice and oppression, peace over exploitation and bitterness.” Desmond Tutu
“Christians, like their Master, must be ready to accept the world’s worst that evil and cruelty can do to them, and vanquish it by the power of love.” Evelyn Underhill
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34