Thursday, November 10, 2005

“I will lift up mine eyes…

From my front porch, the eastern sky is awash with the colors of dawn: pink, rose, blush, pale orange, light blue, tinted white. Long wisps of clouds drag along parallel to the horizon, and Mt. Hood rises stark white against this backdrop. This is a magic mountain and living within its aura is a spiritual experience that fills me with awe.

In my lifetime, I have spent time near sacred mountains and this is where I feel most at peace. In 1994-95, I lived on Wild Pig Ridge in Tehama County, California and from my humble dwelling I could see Mt. Shasta and Lassen Peak, two of the mountains revered by the Indians.

As a child and teenager, I spent summers in Estes Park in the Rocky Mountains with a view of Long’s Peak. The highlight of my years there was climbing the East Face and signing the register at the Agnes Vail shelter.

Now I am sheltered in the glow of Mt. Hood, often called the “loveliest” of the chain of extinct volcanoes. At 11,235 feet, the peak reigns as the monarch of the Oregon Cascades. On a clear day, I can look across the river into Washington and see topless Mt. St. Helens. For me, as for many others, these mountains are a source of inspiration and wilderness meditation.

One of my favorite places to spend a few minutes of quiet time is Portland’s Women Forum Scenic Viewpoint nine miles from my house. The view of the magnificent and awesome Columbia River Gorge is absolutely breathtaking. And from that spot high on the ridge on old Oregon Highway 30, Mt. Hood is a commanding presence. Stopping there for moments of meditation brings a wonderful sense of spiritual peace.

I am reminded of my favorite psalm:

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2


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