We all talk about unconditional love, but I find it hard to really do, despite how close I am to people. Yet these two delightful dogs accept me unconditionally. All they ask for is my love and attention. If only I could give and receive the same intensity of love to and from God and others.
I am challenged by this verse from the Spanish hymn, Lord, You have come to the Lakeshore: “You need the caring of my hands. Through my tiredness may others find resting. You need a love that just goes on loving.”
“The human heart yearns for love: love without conditions, limitations, or restrictions. ..We must start by realizing that our restless hearts, yearning for perfect love, can only find that love through communion with the One who created them.” Henri Nouwen
Morgan Lake sits above La Grande, in Union County OR. Although the road up there is steep, it is only a fifteen minute drive to reach it. Few people visit it in the winter, so the tranquility is always refreshing. Late afternoon light and sunsets are exquisite.
As I watch a sunrise or sunset develop, I am awed by the spectrum of color that is displayed. The light and color move gradually and spectacularly, cleansing my mind and soul, reminding that my circumstance are minute compared the eternal moving, transforming Light.
“God’s hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against our conscience….Let us go out with the patient power of knowing the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.
Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step into the invincible future with Him.” Oswald Chambers
On Saturday, I snow shoed up to Hoffer Lake, above Anthony Lake, OR with five Scouts and two other adult leaders. I came back with two “day” scouts, and the others are camped up there tonight. It was a proverbial winter wonderland, but not enough to attract/convince my “elderly” body to stay overnight
A ten minute drive takes me to Morgan Lake, above La Grande, OR. It sits in a high prairie, so the afternoon sun sets unblocked by the hills. I love to walk here year round. Each season brings it own mood. Winter’s late afternoon sun is warm and rich, filled with serene mystery.
Scouts from Troop 514 left early Saturday for their annual rock climbing weekend at Hoffer Lake, above Anthony Lake. We knew we would encounter skiffs of snow, but little did we realize we would be breaking trail in close to twelve inches.
We enjoyed true winter camping. The boys adjusted for the conditions, working together to pitch their tents, cook their food, gather firewood and stay warm.
Hoffer Lake was lightly frozen. The late afternoon light created marvelous color tones on the lake. When I awoke Sunday morning after a chilly night, I was grateful to be there, amidst this snow cover beauty, rather than simply sitting in my easy chair at home drinking coffee. Coffee outdoors by the campfire was much better 🙂
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
We have experienced a deep and long winter here in our Grande Ronde Valley–wind and snow have closed many roads, snow is piled deep, both from blowing and from drifting. However, when the wind stops and the sun comes out, there is nothing more beautiful than the snow covered fields, trees, and mountains. It is the epitome of beauty.
A short ten minute drive from home takes one to the Mt Emily Recreation Area (MERA). Mt Emily creates an iconic profile as it rises above La Grande. The MERA offers excellent recreation opportunities year around. In fact, if you go to the previous post, you will see Meg on a billboard in which she is hiking in spring in this Mt Emily Recreation Area.