For the first twenty-six years of my life, I grew to love my westward view of the Pacific Ocean as, not only something I respected, but, something I feared. The ocean is peaceful, serene and melodic but is also a very powerful force, not to be reckoned with. The waves that seemed so kind and beautiful from the sandy beach would knock me off of my feet and send me tumbling through the salty turbulence as I fought to find the way that would bring me to the surface. The abuse was relentless as wave after wave would cause me to crumble or grow stronger in fighting back. It was powerful and overwhelming. My dad brought me scuba diving once and I thought I would love it. It was beautiful underwater, a completely different world, but the atmosphere was suffocating. The claustrophobia I felt, terrified me. The world underwater seems like it would be a freeing place but I felt imprisoned, in bondage.

The last few times I’ve traveled through the Rocky Mountains I’ve realized something about myself. I love the ocean but have fallen in a deeper love with these mountains. The ocean is beautiful but it seems like an endless sea of fluid sameness. In this time of my life, the strong, stable beauty of these majestic formations is a necessity to me in feeling safe and loved. These mountains are bigger than my problems. They are more beautiful than any material possession. Even when venturing into them, the comfort of my surroundings is amplified. The trees seem to envelope me in a reassuring embrace. The wind in the trees is a calming song. The gorgeous life and wide openness of the sky is vast and never ending. The most important fact about these mountains is that they won’t attack me. They won’t pummel me, causing me to fight for my life. They are just a strong presence. My safe place.

After three and a half years of living here, the view to the west still takes my breath away. Like hands reaching toward their Creator and longing for me to join in praise, adoration and welcoming me to peace and protection.

Boudler, Colorado, June 2009