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  • corneliusmary

Transcendence




At almost 14,000 feet, far above the forest, the peaks of rock dominated the land. If I could reach the top, would I rule the world?


Last summer Mike and I explored Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. I explored mostly by car; he hiked. The porch on our quintessential national park cabin provided a perch to observe small animals and people in a protected wilderness setting. Whether viewing the sharp mountain crags named after a woman’s body part (big breasts, in French; would that be banned in Florida?) or deep river valleys crammed with tall pines, or listening to the ranger’s fireside talks, I was in awe, feeling a connection to all of life. Cities are stimulating. Nature is inspiring.


David Foster Wallace wrote tall mountains did not inspire him. My apologies if I misinterpret his writing, which requires an attention I cannot muster as I age. He writes he is more in awe of humans who create. I agree that the miracle of life called human being is astonishing simply because no one really understands how it came about. And although I view human creativity as an extension of God as Creator, an attitude of worship overcomes me when I immerse myself in the wonders of the natural world. Mountains, trees, and water themselves all create, perhaps unintentionally and on a much slower timeline. But the metamorphosis of nature affects all of life. Humans think they are supreme over trees which live hundreds of years, mountains that have dominated the geography for eons, rivers which carve the earth. The earth will be here long after humankind is gone.


In Utah I was in awe. I was humbled. I was joyful. I would have loved to climb the peaks and look down on the world that looks up to them. I know they have much more power than I. They will be reigning long after I am gone.

 

 

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