“The Zumwalt Prairie seemed a polycultural sea of greens–springtime mint greens, forest greens, shamrock greens. They were every hue and shine–pale, bright, dull, and verdant–and always changing from the height of the sun in the sky or the volume and cover of the clouds. The wind changed the colors as did morning and evening dew. Morning color was heightened, noontime was flat, and late afternoon shone gold-green and shadowy.” Marcy Houle, The Prairie Keepers
This book provides a wonderful background for visiting both the Zumwalt and the Cat’s Back, two vast high grasslands the hold the silence and awe of Creation.
When I was young, and even as an adult, I used to think that God was floating “up there” while I was doing the best I could walking on earth. As my relationship with Him has developed into a walking conversation, I have realized that He is not even across town; He is right here, next to each one of us. I very much enjoyed what Oswald Chambers wrote in “My Utmost for His Highest” on July 20: “Having the reality of God’s presence is not dependent on our being in a particular circumstance or place, but is only dependent on our determination to keep the Lord before us continually. Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence….The experience the psalmist speaks of–‘we will not fear even though…” (Psalm 46:2) will be ours once we are grounded on the truth of the reality of God’s presence, not just a simple awareness of it, but an understanding of the reality of it.”
The “Divide,” or the “Cat’s Back,” evocative names the designate a remote, little visited area of Wallowa County in NE Oregon, displays some of the most beautiful country you will find anywhere in this nation. In 1885, sisters Daisy and Caroline Wasson came to live there on a homestead established by their parents. High, on an open ridge with spectacular views of the Wallowa and Seven Devils mountains, they spent ten years. Snowed in for six months of the years, they learned to sew from their mother, and do the multi varied tasks that made life bearable in the winter. In the summer, the place was magical. Daisy wrote about those who wondered how/why they could live in such “god forsaken” place: “I have a picture in my mind of Caroline, standing, listening. She has on a little white linen hat and she is holding her walking sticks, and leaning a little forward. I watch her, and then after a little bit ask what she is doing. ‘I hear music,’ she answers, ‘when I am real still and look at the mountains. I hear it.’
“I hear music when I am real still and look at the mountains.” Meg and I have enjoyed this music, the silence, as we have enjoyed the blessing and privilege to visit the Cat’s Back several times in this early summer. I hope you enjoy this pictures as well.