postcards from sabbatical – week 11

postcards from sabbatical – week 11

Dear Faith Friends,

Trail Ridge Road runs straight through Rocky Mountain National Park.  It gets you high and it gets you high quickly.  Before you even reach the Continental Divide a sign tells you that you are two miles above sea level.  You haven’t gotten out of the car and you are already out of breath.

Trail Ridge Road will take you even higher.  You can walk straight out of your car onto Alpine Tundra.  They say that driving the three hours from the high plains of Colorado to the top of Trail Ridge Road is like driving from Mexico to the Arctic Circle.  The tundra is a desert, where – despite large snow falls – only small amounts of moisture seep into the ground.  Plants and animals have evolved and adapted to the treacherous temperatures and wind speeds.  It has made flora and fauna creative, hardy and fragile.  A plant may bloom only once a decade.  Animals have about two months to gather food or get off the mountain.

The air is thin.  I must hike slowly.  I must take my time.  I must be prepared with water, nourishment and adequate safety measures. I must watch ever step over boulders and stones, across tender plants.

I am rewarded.  With astounding views.  With animals who are as curious about me as I am of them.  With delicate plants in bloom.  With bright sunshine. With enormous billowing clouds.  With occasional friendly human companions.  With the presence of God.  With time in God’s time. This is truly a thin place for me.

My soul is being restored in places I did not know I  needed to be replenished.  I have received what I needed for another season.

Blessings on the journey,
Charlotte

You have turned my mourning into dancing.
You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever. – Psalm 30:11-12

 

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