At the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship I attend, there is a ritual for the seasons on the Wheel of the Year. During these services, we call upon the four directions: to the East, we call upon the Wind and Air; to the West, we call upon the Water; to the South, we call upon Fire; to the North, we call upon the Land and Rock. Therefore, where East meets West would be where Wind and Air meet Water. In my experience, it looks something like this:
Where North meets South might be all those places where Rock and Fire interact – think volcanoes and earthquakes. I attended a geology lecture at the public library yesterday and learned that there is a Corvallis Fault that featured in the formation of Mary’s Peak, the tallest mountain in the Oregon Coastal range. And the Cascades across the Valley contain a chain of volcanic peaks, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire created along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Here’s my experience of what that looks like:
For a really awesome global and cultural perspective, visit Amy’s Challenge post HERE and enjoy her world-traveling lens.
“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” ― Joseph Campbell
This week’s challenge is hosted by Aletta of nowathome. She lives in South Africa and finds on the sands of the beach a fascinating treasure of endless variety. This week, I found my treasure in the Cascade mountain range of Oregon.
It has not been an easy week. Three of my family members have Covid. My national government is regressing into dangerously harmful territory. I called a couple of friends and took off into the hills, from whence cometh my treasure – being alive in wilderness.
“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.” ― Walter Anderson
I am enormously grateful for the ability to breathe the mountain air deep into my lungs, to smell the delicate perfume of wildflowers, to walk for miles and hours far away from flawed human systems. I treasure the perspective of the peaks above me and the plants at my feet. I treasure the freedom of flying butterflies, vulnerable yet exquisitely alive for their brief spans.
Thank you, Lens-Artists, for sharing your treasures. As we share, we build a caring community. Your generosity matters.
Of course, there are always new opportunities to wonder at this wide, beautiful world!
Yesterday, I hiked for the first time in the Cascades of central Oregon. Snow-capped mountain peaks and colorful wildflowers graced every scenic view. It was truly spectacular!
Iron Mountain has a volcanic plug or lava neck at its top – that’s the rocky protrusion just to the left of the peak. It was formed when lava in a vent hardened. As we climbed up to the top of that formation, we could see the porous features of the lava itself and the rust-colored iron in it. It made me wonder at how this was once an active volcano, as were the other peaks in the Cascade chain on this Pacific ring of fire.
Fire, snow, sunshine, trees…this is a world filled with wonders that shape the future and tell the past. We have so much to enjoy and so much to learn!