Happy National Park Week!
"The tendency nowadays to wander in wildernesses is delightful to see. Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life. Awakening from the stupefying effects of the vice of over-industry and the deadly apathy of luxury, they are trying as best they can to mix and enrich their own little ongoings with those of Nature, and to get rid of rust and disease. Briskly venturing and roaming, some are washing off sins and cobweb cares of the devil's spinning in all-day storms on mountains; sauntering in resiny pine woods or in gentian meadows, brushing through chaparral, bending down and parting sweet, flowery sprays; tracing rivers to their sources; getting in touch with the nerves of Mother Earth; jumping from rocky to rock, feeling the life of them, learning the songs of them, panting in whole-souled exercise, and rejoicing in deep, long-drawn breaths of pure wildness."
"Our National Parks"
"I am the Billy Graham of National Parks."
For me, National Parks and Forest Service Wilderness Areas are my "religion." These are the temples - the places where I worship the Creator - and the scriptures which reveal to me nuggets of divine truth when I'm in an ecstatic frame of mind. It's no wonder that National Parks are appropriately called "America's Best Idea." :)
Photos: Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, WY; Fireweed and Reflection Lakes, with Mount Rainier in the background, Mount Rainier National Park, WA; Ice patterns on The Loch, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
For Spiritual Direction or Workshops, please visit: http://www.resourcesforspiritualgrowth.com/
Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.