Can you imagine how different things were in 1978 when R.L. Schmidt, Sr. was surprised by a blacking out of his vision and the ending of his conscious life on this earth? His world up until then is unrecognizable today.
How many things we accepted as the norm then are gone now. So many things that did not exist have come into being! The populated world in this western hemisphere is nearly unrecognizable to 1978 eyes, and in some ways is becoming less acceptable, or less attractive to mine as well. My refuge here in the mountains is a blend of new and old, so I feel a bit sheltered from the human caused chaos that seems so prevalent at lower elevations.
Some days and mostly on weekends, these mountains are filled with more people and more cars, more noise than I am accustomed to. The good news is that there is still space, mostly empty and unspoiled just a hundred paces from the end of most roads, and reserved for hose with sturdy shoes and strong hearts.
The really good news is that I will walk in the woods today, and celebrate my father's kind of world, with bird songs, the snapping of twig under foot and the whisper of a breeze coming through the pines. In walking I will prepare my legs and lungs for the hiking and climbing that is before me, and that takes me back to when and where we walked together on dusty trails to green meadows, over rock-strewn passes that challenged our physical bodies, passed vistas that we had no words to describe.
When I walk with a pack on my back through stands of pines I do not have to think about or recall my father, I simply become him, because he in fact lives on in me, not only in the genetic ( DNA ) sense but in the words, the values and in the gifts he gave us that never faded, never tarnished and never lost their worth.
Thank you to the father of all, for the gift of life and the gifts that only families give. Thank you for the wild places and the freedom we feel when surrounded by the purity of creation. Forgive us for not seeing the truth and beauty that we are, and that we belong to. Teach us not to sin against you or each other by neglecting the gifts of faith, family and forest.