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.
“You are present, Eternal God, in every moment of my life, in the daily tasks and the swirl and seeming chaos of world events. Help me then to be aware of your presence and responsive to your purpose.” Evelyn Underhill
Scouts from Troop 514, La Grande, OR, enjoyed a great November outing, practicing pioneering and cooking skills. They lashed a ladder together, and hung up a large tarp to protect agains the weather. They also lashed a tower. Breakfast was bacon, eggs, and french toast in cast iron skillets over a fire. I enjoy helping them develop these skills which will last a lifetime.
“Arriving at the first Sunday of Advent, we remember that God, out of love, came into the world in the flesh. We remember that in Jesus we see God’s love in a human face. We remember that in the midst of all the world’s pain, God’s love has draw near to sustain , restore, and save.” Ginger Gaines-Cirelli
Unlike last year, the weather has been warm here in La Grande. I photographed this butterfly and bee on a Thanksgiving Day walk. God is everywhere and we are always loved. May we all stay spiritually warm as we encounter friends and strangers during this Christmas season.
“I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be. But still, I am not what I used to be. And by the grace of God, I am what I am.” John Newton
As fall leaves change into winter which transforms into spring and summer, I think of the ways we change, hopefully leaving old hurts and harms behind, and becoming more loving and forgiving. We are only stuck if we choose to be.
Fall in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California draws one into intense colors and deeply refreshing air. Meg and I stayed with good friends at Sorensen’s Family resort, located in Hope Valley south of Lake Tahoe. Large meadows at 7000 feet spread out below Carson Pass and the West Fork of the Carson River. Hiking, fishing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing makes this area a year around outdoor magnet.
Sorensen’s itself offers delightful cabins set amidst aspen trees. Friendly service and an intimate restaurant made out stay an easy one. We hiked through gorgeous color, which intensified after a light snowfall on our second night. Despite a two day drive to get there, we would love to do it again.
“The Kingdom of God belongs to those who have let go of their possessive attitude toward everything, including God. God is pure gift; we cannot possess him just for ourselves. We can possess him only by surrendering to him and by sharing him with others.” Fr. Thomas Keating
“Be still and know that I am God.” I am challenged to take this call to stillness beyond the mountain top experiences and bring it to the busy valleys of life. I am slowly realizing that each breath, each encounter with people and Creation, is unique and needs to be treasured rather than avoided or endured. I pray that our loving Lord will bless and deepen our encounters, giving us rest and refreshment in the busyness we encounter each day.