The mountains were a protective hedge around our home in Alaska.
They put my little life into perspective; daily.
They were massive and comforting and there.
When I moved down here to the states, I remember someone asking me if I had seen "the mountain."
I responded with my typical grace and sensitivity, "The mountain! You only have one?!"
I traded my mountains and woods for neighborhoods and libraries and parks.
When we were first married, Dave and I would go hiking every weekend.
We continued, even after we both had a baby strapped on our back.
But eventually, our hikes ceased and life became an indoor affair.
I lost some of my perspective.
But this summer, I grew up in the shadow of a mountain.
Yes, it was the mountain; the one and only.
But even in it's singularity it brought me back to something.
It connected me with a home. A home that was never perfect, but was mine nonetheless. A home where a mother and father and sisters and a brother lived. A home where cats paraded and pianos plunked. A home where we were outside more than in, even when the temperature was below freezing.
I am comfortable in nature because it feels like coming home.
That is a great gift, one I don't want to cash in for a house, no matter how lovely the house may be.
We've spent the last two weeks in school and have approximately 34 weeks left.
During these two weeks, I've thought repeatedly of our summer up in the woods, at the cottage.
I watched my children grow there, outside.
I watched as they explored the world God made, the beautiful, breathtaking world.
I saw them dance in the dusk with bats and then fall into bed, dirty and exhausted.
Now, I see them bent over their math books, and I realize that some of my perspective came back this summer.
I want them to be diligent, but I would rather they feel at home in the woods than with a textbook.
I want them to be hard workers but I also desire that they know where to go to be refreshed.
I want them to learn to seek perspective from the mountain.
Tomorrow I will wake up at 6:30 am. I'll do some sit-ups and head into the autumn air for a run. I'll walk briskly up a long steep hill (I only run downhill). When I get to the top I'll look out across the gorge and I'll see the lone mount rising out of the mist. I'll thank God for the past it connects me with and the future it offers me. I'll stand for just a moment in the shadow of the mountain.
"Come, let us go up to the
mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths."