Beautiful Desolation

Posted: 17 August 2010 in Everything Else...

I don’t know exactly how to tell you what I saw. To say it was a new perspective captures one part of what happened.  I had flown over it, climbing out of the valley, craning my neck like a child to glimpse its grandeur, its solitude.  A perspective.  A good one.  But then to get up close and realize the riot of life in a square mile; to smell the air overflowing with scents so diverse that my nostrils twitched like a horse’s; to tread timeless rock; to “discover” lake and pool… Yeah, a new perspective is part of it

Lake Aloha, Desolation Wilderness

Beyond that I saw into the things that condition one’s view of the world.  That too is a new perspective I suppose.  This rock.  These trees.  That marsh.  Those flowers.  They put you in your place.  They are sufficient in themselves and they stand, not waiting for you, for me, to bring them meaning.  But they do wait to see what we–what you, what I, might do.  How we might choose to live.  What we might put into the air, drop on the ground.  What we call traces they might call invasion.

In the valley we have weeds.  They are not from “here”.  They are foreign and we say unapologetically that they are invasive.  And we burn and we dig and we cut them away.  Up there in the beautiful desolation I was reminded that maybe I am invasive too.  This is not a plea to “leave the wilderness alone.”  It is not hand wringing about “humankind as cancer.”  It is just about a new perspective.  That’s all.

  1. Bill Habicht says:

    You just provided a much needed devotional for my day. Thank you Robb.

  2. story doula says:

    hey Robb.. Love this post and it’s gentle exploration. Talking tomorrow at the faculty staff conf (where you made yr amazing speech last yr!) about how metaphor is critical to our thinking change and healing. I may use yr weed netaphor. I’m reading the greening of faith: god, the environment and the good life. Forward by bill mckibbin. The book talks of how european hasidic masters taught that in all things including stones, tools plants and animals dwell divine sparks. It is the special task of human kind to liberate these divine sparks. Thanks for yr acts of spark liberation today. 😀

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