Saturday, May 23, 2015
Four hours with Boone and God
I did today exactly what was needed. I went for a four hour ride up in the mountain foothills with Boone and some friends. It's a wonderful place that is maintained by the local Muleskinners and the trails are just wonderful-challenging but never overly so. Boone did great and we went through our first streams together and waded in pools too. Many of the trails were steep and rocky, combined with wet footing and logs to cross so it was just a wonderful challenging day and so much fun. Every time Boone and I do any ride it is enjoyable, but these longer ones are so meaningful as they build us up as a team, and I'm always so proud of him just for being his calm stoic self.
Part of the trails are through private forest land and this is the only photo I took today. I am not religious and did not go to church as a child or young adult but the power of the best things of faith are embodied in Nature for me, and if there was ever an outdoor cathedral it is the forest. The old barn is a cathedral for me too, but old forests bring me onto hallowed ground. Looking up into the light bouncing off Doug Fir limbs, a statement popped into my head,
There must be God.
I do believe in God, but that statement came to me, strongly. Boone noticed things I did not, smelled and sensed what I could not. Perhaps that is God too, for him, but he needs not label it. I remember Joseph Campbell saying that we need the word "God" because we have to put a short description onto the entity that we can not describe in human words.
I needed this ride today and sometimes the beauty of the world is so overwhelming. Through certain parts of the forest, I could see coastal range foothills, and I wondered how many eyes were watching us as we rode though those paths. The horses themselves bring me great contentment. The sounds of feet hitting ancient rock and the sweat of the neck perfuming the cool air was worth thousands of dollars of psychotherapy. It was like it washed me, it didn't wash over me, it literally cleansed me and all the heavy thoughts I've had of late. Last night Martyn and I sat and talked a lot about giving up Pino Pie Day, and I was surprised how much it felt like a loss. I am very confidant it is the right thing to do, but it is a loss. The ride today reminded me of my small size in this universe, and another idea came to me,
If we had to walk in this cathedral before speaking how would it change our words?
The steady steps of my horse amazed me at times, and I daydreamed how I would most likely be slipping and tripping. Boone trusted me enough not to lead him into danger, carrying me four hours on slippery slope and never missing a step, never faltering or hesitating a turn.
I did not think about plans. I didn't ponder what might be in the future. I was just with Boone, enjoying the sermon of those trees and the light they cast on us and feeling pretty good there was a God.