“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” John Muir
Ruth and I, and her son Theo, went to the Sierras recently to snowshoe at Tahoe Meadows, 8800 feet above sea level, near Incline Village, Nevada. As Muir says, nature does offer us her good tidings, her healing and invigorating energy, her ability to absorb and transform our worries. It is primarily why it calls us, I think, and draws us back to a connection that reminds us of a simpler time when the biggest issue of the day was how many logs the stove would need. We traipsed and trudged and made our way up snowy slopes to huge granite outcroppings where we looked out over a breath-stealing landscape. We sat on the rocks and counted our blessings, one by one, until we had three or four in our quiver, all wonderfully mundane and precious. Blessings like legs and knees intact; mind relatively sharp; eyes clear and focused; heart beating and healthy. We’d made it this far still able to “climb the mountains” and return to tell about it. Theo, with his good sense of direction, led us back, and we, being great lunchtime view finders, found a fine one for our meal in the car. We gazed out upon Lake Tahoe, that High Sierra sapphire in a circlet of mountains. As with good food, the conversation waned with a feast for the eyes, and we ate in relative silence, probably not even needing the actual food given how filled we felt from the lake sights. Before we went to the meadows, we’d snowshoed right on the shore of the lake at a state park further south, watching sizable waves lap the rocks and boulders as we advanced. What pleasures this lake gave us! I wish the whole area had been made a national park in the time of Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir.
But enough talk for now. Here’s what it looked like in photos (click to enlarge). And they’ve had more snow recently, so go up and get your own good tidings.