Winter Blues

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One of the many benefits to having a snow-covered landscape is our optical ability to distinguish based on contrast. The delectable palette of winter is quite splendid when sorted by our sight. A full spectrum is on display, but one color seemingly prevails over all others. It is blue.

Spend enough time in the most frigid of seasons and you will see that it uses all of the blues there are. A shade is present for water, snow, and ice. The shadows of trees and mountains cast other variations. And, as they lay in various depths before us, each layer becomes lighter blue based on the furthering of distance. The skies, whether day or night, represent most other variations of blue. The chromaticity overhead ranges from azure to zaffre.

When I hear of others speak of the winter blues, my response is usually in accord. I am grateful they are able to see them, too.

The Gift

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As we mature, we realize that material gifts are not what is most important. Relationships, traditions, memories, and the most transcendent gift of all, our savior, Jesus Christ, are truly the most important gifts to cherish.

Even though it should be in practice every day, Christmas is the perfect time of year to celebrate our love of God, family, and friends. Allow the holy spirit to heal what troubles you with love and gratitude. May the essence of the season satiate your hearts and minds. When we give pause and reflect on all bestowed upon us, we should praise God for all of his many blessings.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him…” John 1:9-10

Get Lost!

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During this time of year, depression or feelings of being overwhelmed are not uncommon. The circumstances of life often have a way of sapping energy and draining our emotional reserves.

A potential respite involves withdrawing from the complexities of life and re-immersing oneself into the wild.

In all of us, the human spirit yearns for its provenance-which is nature. The curious have been blessed with a sense of adventure. They are willing to take excursions to wild places. They feel a need to ascertain where they truly belong.

The exhilaration from adventuring to a place of no inhibition, nor restraint, lets one’s imagination (and the realm of possibilities) take over for a while. For every minute spent in a beautifully feral place, one receives far more than he or she seeks.

We may find, at some point in our lives, that the beauty we are surrounded by is satisfying enough. I sure hope not. It is an insatiable quest for me. A brilliant quote states, “Wander often, wonder always.”

I concede that what I am suggesting is not a remedy for everyone. Make no mistake. By seeking adventure in the wild, one should not be attempting to conquer the mountains, but themselves. It is well known that the best view comes into focus after summiting from the hardest climb. By investing the time and effort it takes to go to a primal location, you will be rewarded, if nothing else, by the distractions afforded by the journey getting there. Even if it is for just a short time, let your mind be free and let your spirit fly.

If you are emotionally down and in need of a pick-me-up, please take it upon yourself to venture into primitivity. This may provide the relief for which you are searching.

Panorama

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A topiary proclaims through its fir, larch, and pine.
Vibrant colors meld, yet, contrast.
Hyperopic kaleidoscopes abound, flitter, and dance.
By creative design, elegance to stalwart collide.
En masse, reflecting every ray of light.
A picturesque canopy displayed, though, not by happenstance.
A vision helpless to not fully abide.

Cathedral

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During youth, I lacked the understanding of more than basic biblical concepts. I did not pray, nearly so often, as I do now. I lacked the maturity and conviction to live a life based on the real truth. My truth was based on whatever was happening at that point in time. Confirming my beliefs and convictions over time has certainly been a tumultuous journey and a blessing. I am eternally grateful for the divine presence that continually lights the path before me.

I have had the good fortune of adventuring in some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world. Mountains constitute my cathedral. They offer the shelter and sustenance required for a truly religious experience. Rocks, trees, bushes, grasses, soil, and wildlife make up the alpine’s congregation.

I feel emotionally cleansed as I explore on self-made paths through canyons and valleys. The world in the distant landscape appears to grow ever smaller. The sounds of a living forest are reminiscent of a choir accompanied by a symphony. A tapestry of mountain wildflowers displays colors as brilliant as any church’s stained-glass mosaic these eyes have ever gazed upon.

Mountain streams baptize with their cool, crisp, and clear water. These streams originate from pure white fields of melting snow. As they flow and join other tributaries, they become a metaphor for what is most important. A single stream transforms into a mighty river, and then eventually, fills an ocean; much as one and then twelve transformed into a multitude.

I encourage those who spend time in the high country to find a solitary place. Take a few minutes, hours, or days to absorb the surroundings. Enjoy the serenity of your environment and listen to your inner voice. Let free the inhibitions that bind your soul and mind. Experience a religious moment like you have never done before. Be assured, you will feel the presence of the Almighty and later thank him for being there with you…the whole time.

Destiny

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Through the smoke and morning fog, I am able to see a dusting of frozen crystalline precipitation on the nearby ridge tops. Those of us living in the Northwest United States are happy for a break in atmospheric conditions. The past two days have brought a much anticipated and welcomed respite to the high temperatures and arid conditions that have plagued the area over the past several months in the places we call home.

One probably wonders why many choose to dwell in remote areas where fire, smoke, and weather are often punishing and detrimental. Is it the beauty of proximate vistas? Is it the solitude afforded by living in rurality? I believe it is more complex than that. Some are driven by chance circumstance. Others are driven by greed or birthright. The majority, however, are drawn by a calling to live in areas where they are able to pursue the aspects of life that bring them the most satisfaction.

Without taking risks or following intuition, one may miss his/her calling. Subtle or subdued, an individual’s calling may be difficult to ascertain. Fear of failure is a formidable force in personal decision making processes.

I encourage you to take a chance and follow your instincts. Let your calling be your guide. As the old phrase goes: nothing ventured, nothing gained. You may be missing out on the adventure of a lifetime if you remain idle and let the fear of failure dictate your actions. Inhibitions can be overcome. Life is too short to let them be your restraints. Staying static should always be your last option.

If you are having a difficult time making a decision right now, I encourage you to go for it. The regret of not doing so will be far more damaging than failing. Point your personal compass toward your goals. Determination and hope will be enough to start your journey. The experience gained along the way is nearly always the most rewarding part of the achievement. Destiny awaits.