“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” –John Muir
A cool breeze that rushed up the mountainside had quelled the sweltering heat that rained down from the California summer sun. We attempted to catch our breath, while sitting on top of large gray flat-topped rocks embedded into the rich brown dirt, as the wind moved the few trees decorating the top of the mountain and the tall grass, sunflowers, and dried brush. It felt as though we were the only ones left on the planet as we looked down in to the green canyons while sitting on top of the world.
The picturesque mountainscape had become a wonderful excuse for a long nature hike miles away from any road flooded with cars. I did my best to capture all of the beauty that I had seen that day inside of the digital folders of my camera. Upon returning from weekend hiking into the tall mountains I picked up a call and greeted a familiar voice.
“I was just calling to see how you were doing, honey.” My grandmother said. She had had wondered how I was and where I had gone the past weekend.
“I spent the weekend hiking and swimming with friends near their house,” I responded. “It was extremely hot, but it was absolutely gorgeous.”
“Did you get any pictures?”
“Yes, I took a few.”
My grandmother told me about the short hikes that she had done when she used to live in the deserts of Arizona. She pointed out how no one sunset or sunrise looked the same, and that the landscape and the air made each of our daily spins counter-clockwise away from the sun uniquely beautiful.
She spoke to me about how she would stretch out her arms to feel the wind and how she felt as though she was connecting closer with God.
“It’s nothing like a hike up the mountain to really see and feel all that God has done for us,” she said. “Sometimes people get so wrapped up in their daily lives and the things that they have built that we need moments like that to reconnect with God and the earth.”
I smiled and agreed with her. Every time I had wondered in to the woods or climbed a mountain in the desert I felt as though I was reconnecting with the earth. The rest of the world would dissolve as I became enveloped in something simpler, yet incredibly immense.