About fifteen months ago, I began planning for the total solar eclipse in eastern Oregon. I decided on a location right below a mountain top, Dooley Mt, in Baker County, where an old Naval radar station used to exist. Meg and I confirmed this site would be ideal over Memorial Weekend.
Serendipitously, September 2 is our Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary. We invited our sons and wives to join us for the eclipse and celebrate our anniversary together. Matt and Teresa arrived from New Zealand, and Michael and Sara from New Hampshire. We set up camp in ponderosa pine trees on Sunday, and enjoyed conversation, walks, reading and general time together. This relaxing time created a wonderful intimacy as we waited for the eclipse to begin and then watched it move into totality.
“I am yours for all eternity. I am the Alpha and the Omega; the one who is and was and is to come. The world you inhabit is one of constant change—more than your mind can absorb without going into shock. Even the body you inhabit is changing relentlessly, in spite of modern science’s attempts to prolong life and youth indefinitely. I, however, am the same yesterday and today and forever.
Because I never change, your relationship with Me provides a rock solid foundation for your life. I will never leave your side. When you move on from this life to the next, My Presence beside you will shine brighter with each step. You have nothing to fear, because I am with you for all time and throughout eternity.” Sarah Young, Jesus Calling
Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. 26 They will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. You will change them like a garment and discard them. 27 But you are always the same; you will live forever. Psalm 102:25-27
“Say you are in the country, in some land of lakes. Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down into some dale, and leaves you there by some pool or stream. There is magic in it….Yes as everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded forever.” Herman Melville
My hiking partner, Bob, and I spent a delightful time in the high Wallowas, far from the “madding crowds.” A ten mile hike and 4000 foot elevation gain to us to the tundra country of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, where its short spring was just arriving. We have been here before, but it was the first time we caught it at the peak of its wildflowers.
“God the sculptor of the mountains; God the miller of the sands. God the jeweler of the heavens; God the potter of the lands. You are womb of all Creation. We are formless, shape us now.” John Thornburg
“Let your mercy shine upon evil.” St Teresa of Avila
“We must understand that we are capable of any evil and that only God is our strength. Only God can protect us from the evil we might do if we were placed in circumstances of enormous suffering and tragedy….Humility is the right relationship to God. It is at the same time total dependence on God and invincible hope in God’s infinite mercy.” Fr. Thomas Keating
It is easy to be distracted with our unhappiness over the current politics in the United States. We blame the President for our ills, and forget that we too commit small acts of unkindness consistently every day. More than ever before, we must let go of anger and engage in distinct, continuing acts of mercy and compassion to those around us.
“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.