Tag Archives: Mt_Emily

Western larch and the Mt Emily Recreation Area

As the fall colors fade in La Grande, as leaves fill yards and streets, the western larch (tamarack) are just beginning to radiate color. These trees are deciduous conifers that shed their needles after a late fall golden display.  In the springtime, the fresh needles are a bright pale green, offering a totally different sheen.  The grow straight and tall, like candles, up to a height of one hundred and eighty feet. I love to wander in and around them in the Mt Emily Recreation Area, as the bright sunlight bounces off their needles.

western larch, tamarack

Grande Ronde Valley

Mt Emily Recreation Area, MERA

MERA, Mt Emily Recreation Area

western larch

Along the Oregon Trail

When Meg and I arrived in La Grande long ago, we had no idea that the Oregon Trail passed through the west side of the Grande Ronde Valley, under the landmark of Mt Emily. It then rises up into the hills to find a way above the Grande Ronde river.  Although we have hiked it several times, we had not been on it for quite a while.  So, this past Saturday, we headed up into the hills above La Grande to the first trail marker at a saddle where the trail drops down to a spring that provided an oasis for an overnight stay.

As you can see, the wildflowers (mules ear balsam root, yellow lupine, larkspur) are still superb, and in places, the grass nearly waist high. As the wind blew gently, memories also swirled in our minds, of our own travels, and of the remarkable journey of these hard working, enduring/endearing pioneers.

mules ear balsam root, yellow lupine

Mt Emily, La Grande

larkspur

Grande Ronde Valley, Mt Emily, Mt Harris

Oregon Trail, La Grande

Mt Emily

yellow lupine

God is life

Continuing with thoughts about the nearness and intimacy of God in our lives, I have enjoyed this statement:

“God is life, not a vending machine full of trifles to fit the whims of the human race. God is the beginning of life, the coming of life, the fulfillment of life, the essence of life, the end of life.”
Mt Emily, Union County Oregon

Mt Emily, Gangloff Park, La Grande

He has caused His wonderful works to be remembered

” Lord, we are grateful for memories of joyful times, of beautiful experiences, of graces You have given.  May we wisely use the gift of awareness and memory You’ve given us; help us to notice and remember the beautiful sights we see, the kindness of our neighbors, the encouraging words we hear.  Guard us from dwelling on worries and committing unhealthy thoughts to our memories.  May we always remember the good around us, just as we say and do good things for others to happily recall.”

Mt Emily and horses

Kancamagus Highway

Fall bursts before winter

 

Peace and Quietude

Long ago, in the fifteenth century,  a German monk, Thomas á Kempis, wrote, “if we would cut off all vain worrying, thinking only of  things that are profitable to the soul, and placing our hope in God, what great peace and quietness we would then possess.”  

In our world today, the quantity and the quality of noise has changed, but the path to relief is the same á Kempis wrote long ago. The challenge–and the advice–never changes.

Christmas holds the key

Reuben Job writes, “Christmas holds the key to unlocking the deepest mysteries of our lives: who are we, where did we come from, is there meaning to our lives, and where are we going?  Granted, we focus at this time on the birth of Jesus, on the exchange of gifts and cards, and the place of joy and triumph even when the days are dark and foreboding.  But the enormous truth of Christmas rests in the revelation  of God’s self to humankind….When Jesus appears as the revealer of the transcendent Creator God, God becomes near, loving, and approachable.  Now we know that God understands us and that we can begin to understand God.

“The great mystery of God unfolds in the birth, life, and death of Jesus.  Jesus Christ came and was clothed in human flesh to let us know who God is and what God is really like. Now we know who we are–God’s beloved children; to whom we belong–our faithful redeemer/savior; and where we are going in our journey of life–to a place prepared for us.  Thus the Christmas story is such good news.”

God’s Mercy

“When God’s love touches us in our neediness–the sorrow and suffering inherent in the human condition–we name it mercy. Mercy is perhaps the loveliest of all God’s qualities.” Elaine Prevallet 


Here is the greatest challenge for me.  The Old and New Testament are filled with statements about God’s unfailing love–“the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.” (Lamentations 3: 22-23)  It is easy to be grateful for God’s love, but how do I let His love, Christ’s love, flow through me like living waters to those around me? This three day weekend, a pivot point between summer and fall, a transition from old and to new seasons, is a great time to consider this call.