I hiked ten miles during a recent camping trip. It was hot and I was tired (and thirsty – I didn’t realize there wouldn’t be water available at the highway trailheads we passed) but I felt deep satisfaction in knowing I could complete a long day’s hike.
The next day, Tali and I took a two mile stroll through the woods, following a path that twisted and turned and led ever upward. As I turned around to retrace my steps, I realized I was traveling a labyrinthian trail. I stopped.
“Divine – whatever you are, whoever you are, IF you are – show yourself. Not so that I will believe, because I don’t think you ever obscure yourself. I think – no, I believe – you are visible, if I can only have eyes to see.”
I looked around. I saw firs, ferns, tiny maples. I remembered the majesty of the aspen grove we walked through the day before. I remembered when, long ago, I received these words: Look at nature. Look at the trees, the hills. Wrap yourself in them, because it is my love extruded into the world.
My deity is not a god of deserts, but rather, one of forests and hills, of vineyards and fields. So long have I searched for home, but in that moment, I realized I’ve never been homeless. I am a child of the Willamette valley. I carry it within me, and in so doing, also hold the divine, who is visible within and without.