Friday, January 3, 2014

Hiking in California

California is blessed with beloved wilderness.  Just as the Japanese seem to respect the natural world around them, Californians seem to relish the beauty of their state.  We've been hiking three times in the past three days, and I can see the appeal of living in a place graced with not only the ocean, but many types of mountains and forests.  Spending several hours walking  and talking with different friends and family members, taking in new views of mountains and clear blue skies, seeing new trees and animals and the natural world that lived before we touched it.  

When we reached the top of the mountain yesterday and looked out over the valley, I felt the satisfaction of overcoming its elevation, in some small way conquering the mountain that stood above me.  And as we returned and encountered the man desperately looking for his wife in the fast-setting sun, I remembered that we were visitors in the grace of a force much bigger than us.  I realized a respect for the mountain, for the wilderness and the natural world to which we owe ourselves.  

It is so easy to become disconnected from this in our everyday living.  This huge presence that surrounds us and patiently supports our living.  To be immersed in nature, in whatever manner possible, can remind us of a respect for our world and how we interact with it, how we choose to live and consume what we have here.  It is so wonderful to have the opportunity to interact with this part of California, to see this part of the country.  I look forward to hiking its trails, again.

No comments:

Post a Comment