Thursday, July 13, 2017

Now and then...

 
There are two ways to get to know mountains. You can get on a road, like the Blue Ridge Parkway and drive across and among them. You will see a lot of mountains in a day. You may even recognize the contours of some of them if you see them later in a photograph.

You can also find a summit with enough shelter to pitch your tent, or maybe settle in a little cabin beside a stream, and stay in one spot for a week, or better yet a season, until you know the first bird song in the dawn, and the last one at dusk, until you know by name the flowers that bloom around your camp, the old sow bear who brings her cub down to the water each evening, the deer who grazes the meadow at first light.

At the end of your sojourn, you will have a deeper kinship with mountains by learning the deep stories of one of them rather than a passing familiarity with the shapes of many. Friendship takes some time spent in watchful listening, whether you want to become friends with a place or a person.

Love is not restless, nor hurried. Love pays attention, is present, not distracted by what might come next. Life is not there, but here, not when but now. Our story is not about where we've been or where we're going, but how we are being in our brief and eternal moment. We keep longing after Heaven when we are already there.

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