Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Celtic Prayer to begin the day

God's light overcomes the darkness, and He is deeply present with us in this, His world. I love the way this prayer reminds me of my oneness with Him.
Mt Harris, Grande Ronde Valley, OR

Pancake Rocks, South Island, New Zealand

Oregon Coast


San Gabriel Mts, Pacific Crest Trail

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The San Gabriel mountains and the Pacific Crest Trail

As a photography workshop presenter for attendees in late July at Trail Fest , the annual meeting of the Pacific Crest Trail Association, I enjoyed the opportunity to travel from Big Bear Lake into the San Gabriel mountains.  These mountains rise above the Los Angeles basin in magnificent form.  Shaped long ago as fault blocks, they rise to ten thousand feet above Los Angeles to the south, and slope gradually to the Mojave desert to the north, i near the San Andreas fault. Sand, mud, basalt under incredible pressure was metamorphosed to create much of the incredible ancient look and feel of this range. Deep, steep canyons bring down rock debris into the LA basin, leaving wide alluvial fans that east-west freeways cross.

Although close to twenty million people live in this basin, the backside of the range, which the Angeles Crest highway traverses, is nearly empty.  The Pacific Crest Trail crosses this lonely highway in a number of places.  Hiking portions of the trail was obviously very different from the trails I had hiked in the Sierras and Cascades.  The photographic opportunities presented an entirely new landscape, a landscape that has stayed remote from the incessant traffic and people noises of the Los Angeles area.

Inspiration Point Vista. Angeles Crest Highway

one end of the trail to Mt Baden Powell

Looking into the canyon of the San Gabriel river

The trail at Islip Saddle

Mt Baden Powell trail 

The PCT near Inspiration Point Vista

Canyons near Inspiration Vista

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Forgiveness 2

I am always amazed at how much lighter and freer I feel, spiritually and emotionally, when I first let go of, then actually forgive, those who have hurt me in one way or another. I find there is a real danger when I let the negative energy of "my hurt" take hold of me and control my actions. Henri Nouwen puts it very well in his book, "Bread for the Journey:

"To forgive another person from the heart is an act of liberation....As long as we do not forgive those who have wounded us, we carry them with us, or worse, pull them as a heavy load.  The great temptation is to cling in anger to our enemies and then define ourselves as being offended and wounded by them. Forgiveness, therefore, liberates not only the other but also ourselves. It is the way to the freedom of the children of God."  

Chimney Lake, Eagle Cap Wilderness

Hells Canyon sunrise

Friday, August 10, 2012


As I read this statement by CS Lewis, I realize once again that forgiveness is not a choice; it is a command.

"This is hard.  It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single great injury. But to forgive the incessant provocations of daily life--to keep on forgiving the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son--how can we do it?  Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each night, 'Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us!' We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse it is to refuse God's mercy for ourselves. There is no hint of exceptions."

If God can forgive my numerous imperfections, certainly I can do that for others.

Two translations of Psalm 103: 10,11

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Seeing the wonder: the Pacific Crest Trail in the mountains of southern California

During the days after my photo workshop at the annual Trail Fest gathering of the Pacific Crest Trail Association at Big Bear Lake, I enjoyed exploring the Pacific Crest in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains.

early morning light 
                                                                 treading softly into mind
                                                                 I belong to You

                                                           Seeing the wonder
                                                            mountain peaks running onwards
                                                           God makes all things right