Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Road Party (Part III): Same Name Mountain

This is Part III of the Taylor clan's Spring Break 2014 mad-dash to New Mexico, twenty-six Chevy Traverse hours logged one way. Our destination? Grants, NM to see friends, to celebrate victories over cancer, and to see the mountain! Part III is about the mountain, the same name mountain!

One of my spiritual mentors taught me the phrase:

Thin Spaces

...places where God's presence is thick.
...places where translucence is all that separates heaven and earth.
...places where you sense God's Kingdom blooming in wintered Creation.
...places where bushes catch fire but do not burn.
...places where God whispers in your ear.

Thin spaces are often moments in time: weddings, funerals, meaningful conversations, pivotal moments, but sometimes they are an actual latitude and longitude, a geographical pinpoint on the global map to which you can return time and time again.

Although I always feel God's presence in nature's sanctuary: hiking a trail, kayaking a river, running through trees, or staring into infinite midnight around a campfire...Mt Taylor is a geographical thin space. It's not the most beautiful of mountains, not the tallest, or the most dangerous, but I have a connection to it. You might even say I have a relationship with it.
  • Perhaps it's because I first discovered my love for the outdoors under it's golden-leafed aspen
  • Or logged hundreds of miles running up and down its high desert single-tracks
  • Or took my oldest son, then a toddler, on a Sunday afternoon hike to a mountain spring only to have him fall asleep on my shoulders
  • Or stood speechless as a cow elk broke from the trees a few feet in front of me, turned and then galloped up the snow-covered trail
  • Or the days I spent nestled under pine trees practicing lectio divina
  • Or the the dozens of times I stood on its summit
  • Or because it taught me to cross-country ski through blisters, cold and frustration
  • Or the nights eating and laughing around the fire with family and friends  
  • Or the way it welcomed me after my prodigal return with open arms, as if I had never left
I cried on this mountain. I laughed on this mountain. I healed on this mountain. I discovered more of God on this mountain. It is a thin space.

I hope you find a Mt. Taylor!

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