People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars . . . and they pass by themselves without wondering. —St. Augustine, Confessions
“Here on the river I have known peace and beauty such as I never knew in any other place. There is always work here that I need to be doing and I have many worries, for life on the edge seems always threatening to go over the edge. But I am always surprised, when I look back on times here that I know to have been laborious or worrisome or sad, to discover that they were never out of the presence of peace and beauty, for here I have been always in the world itself.” ~ Wendell Berry
Hiking an unfamiliar trail we need to let go of the myth that we are in control of what happens. We don’t know what’s around the next bend; steep inclines or sudden drops, a snake curled up in the sun or a bear with cub crossing the trail, a gnarly old tree or a bubbling creek, the sweetness of wild blackberries or the colors of wildflowers.
How do we keep trusting when the trail bends into the unknown?
“We think of [beauty] in opposition to narrowness, scarcity, drudgery, and constraint. We think instead of what is expansive, generous, abundant, connected, and expressive. Beauty also connects us with the why of living. It points to discoveries waiting to be made about the creation. It points toward questions of right relationships, of ultimate meaning, and even of eternity. It points backward and outward and forward to our ultimate Source and Sustainer.” ~ Makoto Fujimura