I did not grow up with mountains; my first hike was on a spring break mission trip to Oklahoma with other students from my college. On that hike, the pastor, who guided us as we scrambled over boulders and braced ourselves against incredible gusts of wind, led us in a psalm once we were at the top: “I lift my eyes up to the mountains; where does my help come from?” We seemed cocooned at the top of that mountain, the wind dying down and a small chorus of voices weaving the melody around us. Ever since, I have sung that to myself on hikes.
We have been in need of just such a cocoon– rest, a retreat from the stress of the past couple months, and quantities of quality time as a family. The woods in these mountains are cool and crisp, the pine inviting for wandering hikes, the deer accommodating of small budding naturalists. Our first day in the mountains, E said, “I like the cabin; it’s quiet, we can talk and be together, and we can hear things.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Sneaking behind the fence for a closer look.
Trying to smile for the camera.
Bears are his other recent fascination.