Monday Moment, June 24th
Jim and I eagerly anticipated our two-day getaway this week! He had reserved a secluded cabin overlooking the beautiful hills and forests of Logan County. We looked forward to hiking and exploring Hocking Hills State Park, along with reading, writing and reflecting on the porch at our quiet cabin in the woods.
As the week approached we saw that the weather was not going to cooperate. Several days of rain leading up to our vacation left saturated and muddy hiking trails. Additional rain and storms were on their way to accompany us during our stay. Not to be discouraged, we decided we would make our trip more of the meditative retreat in the cabin if we were unable to hike the park. We would simply enjoy our solitude time on the porch, listening to the sounds of nature or maybe even relishing the sheer silence surrounding us.
And so we headed north with journals, books, games, coffee, and high spirits. Winding our way around back roads and up steep rocky paths, we finally made it to our cabin, unloaded our belongings, and settled into our new home. Happily, I opened the slider to the porch and stepped outside to hear the sounds of the forest.
What I heard was the constant, droning sound of a septic tank aerator. The noise overwhelmed the gentle sounds of birdsong, raindrops, and breezes among the trees. Jim called the cabin owner for suggestions but was told that the aerator could not be stopped. Needless to say we were upset and frustrated. All of our plans were being undone.
But the rains seemed to be holding off, so we headed back to the Park to try a few of the shorter trails. We first tried the trail at Conkle’s Hollow and found our path muddy but negotiable. As we hiked along, we were quite astonished to come upon such beautiful sights! Trees and ferns were a rich, verdant green after being washed in the rain. Moss glistened on the boulders and trees. Everything was lush and full.
Walking further down the path, Jim was the first to spot this sight…
We stopped in our tracks and stood silently before the waterfall cross. Eyes moist, I turned to him and whispered, “This is why we are here.”
For this one moment, everything about our trip was worth it. For this one moment, all of our aggravations were released. For this one moment, my grateful, astonished heart knew that we were standing on holy ground. We would never forget the blessing of this time. If nothing else blessed us on this trip, this was enough. This was so much more than enough!
Exuberant, we went on to hike two more muddy trails and found that the rains from the previous days had created more awesome waterfalls! Our previous visits had been later in the season and many of the falls were diminished or non-existent from the dry months. On this day they were gushing and gorgeous. Because of these “aggravating” spring rains, we saw such glorious sights.
As we stood before Cedar Falls, I thanked God for this special day and all of its surprises. I recognized one more blessing, too. In these bonus years since my cancer, I have become less anxious about the number of my remaining days while becoming more grateful for the present moments before me. And the more I notice these moments and name them as gifts, even my ordinary moments become sacred and holy.
Just for this one moment, I get to stand on holy ground… and it’s ALL holy ground. This is enough. This is more than enough. Thank you, God.
(Photos taken by Karen. The cross was formed by water flowing along a fallen tree trunk and sunlight breaking through to reflect on the rock ledge.)