Sabbath in the Mountains (October 11)

Sometimes…it’s just nice to remember how tiny you are 🙂

There are so many things in this world that can remind me of what a teeny-tiny and fragile little figure I am in the grand expanse of world, never mind in the span of time or the vastness of the universe! In my house, or in my office, or in the car, I can feel like pretty big stuff – but a moment’s reflection can cut me back down to size!

Take a full moon, for example…Always beautiful, but with the blood moon coming, Joe had the fantastic idea of setting up our spotting scope in the backyard. 

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Wow. I couldn’t get enough of it – I just kept staring and staring, straining to see every detail of this fantastic creation. 

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And remembering the intricate way that the moon interacts with our planet, bringing the tides as we know them, bringing greater stability to our planetary rotation. And the story it displays of what life is like in space – reflected brilliance, but also so many, many remains of powerful collisions….It’s a beautiful, up-close, and haunting introduction to the enormous, mysterious, wondrous reaches of the universe, and a definite reminder of just how tiny we are in the picture!

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, human beings that you care for them? Psalm 8:3-4

And, of course, the mountains, always the mountains….The wonderful, magical, far-reaching, ever-constant, ever-changing ranges of the North Cascades…Where the far reaches of the mountain wilderness are strangely accessible; where this remote-looking terrain is only a 5-minute walk from the parking lot 🙂

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What amazingness awaits when we’re experienced enough and strong enough to venture past the well-beaten paths, maybe to walk a full day’s distance into the mountains, topping some of the ridge lines that hide our view of the next valleys….and then camp for the night before making our way back…The beauty of God’s heavens seen from the mountains at night, without light pollution, without distractions, with the time to just sit and stare! Well, for now, we’ll just have to content ourselves with all the amazingness that’s close at hand!

This particular Sabbath morning, we set off to meet God in the mountains, and found ourselves on a hike around the Bagley lakes. The road to Artist Point is closed for the season, so we weren’t as high up in the mountains as we had originally planned…But we had the opportunity to explore further along a trail that we hadn’t seen since early spring, when lower Bagley lake with still partially ice-covered, and snow mounded in the shady places along the trail. Now, the fall day was crisp, partly sunny, the mountains were clothed in autumn glory, and we were ready to soak it all in! 

There just wasn’t a moment of this hike where I wasn’t keenly aware of the huge-ness of my surroundings…And my tiny-ness by comparison 🙂

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It’s wonderful seeing my tiny kiddos make themselves so at home in this great-big world…

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Comfortably branching out and exploring and discovering…

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Finding those “perfect spots” that are just right for two brothers…

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Or the whole family!

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This cascade was a great place to experience the mountain up close and in detail…

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And here we found great wonders even tinier than us, and such a joy to encounter!

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A noble ant, with gold bands on his abdomen, no less, mightily patrolling his stretch of mountainside…

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Cup mushrooms, as tiny as the tip of my baby girl’s finger, and equally as delightful! 

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God is in the vastness…But He is also greatly in the tiny-ness…And you’ll miss out on all He has to show unless you also stop to look closer…

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Maybe even break open a rock or two and look inside..Closer…

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And closer….Quartz crystals! Right out among the assortment of high-mountain rocks, just waiting for my oldest son to take a rock hammer and reveal them! So clear, so elegantly formed inside of the rough stone, so wonderful to discover!

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Sometimes, tiny people can fancy themselves quite big! Like a little 3-year-old girl I know, who decided she was a big rock-climber. “I climb this all-by-my-self!”

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And she did!

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But as big-girl as she felt…

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I remembered that she’s actually still quite tiny…

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We made our way further down the trail, around the bend, leaving behind the familiar lake that we had visited before. We discovered that the river led to another lake! This was the lake that we’ve seen below the Visitor’s Center – which is the building in the upper right of this family picture that Spencer took 🙂

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It’s a spot that we usually drive to, and this time, we had walked there! It was a sweet little path with a picture-perfect stone bridge…

 

 

 

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And a great location for lunch…

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We came to mountains, and according to Spencer, ate lunch at the beach 🙂

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What a view! There was the deep reflection to consider…

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And there were the shifting clouds to admire…

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And the tiny, mesmerizing ripples of sunshine on the restless water…Your eye tries hard to freeze them, like the camera does, but it’s impossible, though no less pleasant to keep trying!

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In the late summer, the high mountain water can slow down, can get lazily trapped in still pools, gradually warming and growing sleepy and still, settling in muddy-bottomed resignation to the strong sunshine and daytime heat…But the fall rains bring the water alive again! Rushing, splashing and sparkling down every incline, feeding dancing lakes and gathering energies for ever-larger headlong rushes down the slopes!

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 It’s a glorious race down to the valleys, which your heart recognizes and joins in, leaping and skipping along as well!

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No day on the mountain is complete without filling water bottles from these joyous fountains…

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Shouldn’t all of our drinking water come from happy streams like these? One for the road!

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The way back to the truck followed the other side of the river and lakes, as the clouds settled in and the air grew cooler…

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It was a quick walk, really, as full bellies and great morning adventures had filled us with contentment and made us ready to get back in the truck and head for home…

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Where the memories of a day in the mountains would continue to glow in the background of our hearts and minds…

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We had spent a solid 4 hours meandering along just over 2 miles of this expansive landscape…Tiny people, exploring every tiny detail of a tiny corner of Creation…With so big a God who loves us, isn’t it wonderful to be tiny?

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