|Lake Hogan-At The Water's Edge-photo by Libby Fife|
This week as I stood down at the water's edge at Lake Hogan, I thought about how incredible it was that I was standing there in the first place. The photo shows ground that is normally submerged under water. The drought has lowered Hogan significantly. It's going to take years of runoff and rainfall to replenish the reservoir. Just on a whim, I decided to walk all the way down the hillside to stand right next to the water, right where just a year ago I would not have been able to stand. Really incredible, at least from my point of view.
I liken the whole experience to something that approaches religion, or religious feeling. Only, I don't really know how to describe this idea. But I know other people feel it. It's a sense of awe and wonder and the inability to put words to what you are feeling. You look around and can't believe what you are seeing: beauty, and history, and life and tons of things you can't possible understand but that you appreciate because of their very complexity and the fact that they are unknowable. You are simply grateful and overcome by the gifts around you.
This week I read an article by Omid Safi, a regular contributor to the online "magazine" On Being. (On Being is more than a collection of articles though-they have wonderful podcasts as well as incredibly sensitive writers and contributors. It worth a look.) Mr. Safi's article can be found at this link. He describes perfectly (and certainly much more elegantly) the feelings I am mentioning. It's prayer that you might find in a book only it's not the written word. It's the landscape, the images before you which are the prayer. At least that is how I took the meaning. And it helped to know that it's OK to maybe not be able to form the words right away. It's enough to look and be grateful.