One of the beauties of homeschooling is that we can take off when we want. Wednesday, May 28, was the feast of St. Bernard of Montjoux (historical), the patron saint of climbers and so the patron saint of my dear husband. In honor of his special day, the children and I drove up to NW Massachusetts to hike Mt. Greylock. It was quite different from Monadnock in New Hampshire. I was expecting a trail from the bottom to the summit. Not so much. There were multiple trails, loops, nothing really from the bottom to the top. So we took a loop trail and then drove up nearer the summit to catch part of the Appalachian Trail to the top.
“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord form the heavens, praise him in the heights! Mountains and all hills…Praise the Lord!” (Ps. 148. 1,9,14).
There is something about a mountain that evokes in man awe of God his creator. Perhaps it is the sheer size, the knowledge that compared to this bulk, we who traverse upon it are but ants. And I ask, “What is man that thou art mindful of him, the son of man that thou dost care for him?” (Ps. 8.4). He answers me, “Thou art my Love, my Bride, my very dear child. All this I made for you.” Yes, my beloved is mine and I am his (Song of Songs 2.16).
I remember Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem, God’s Grandeur: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” Though man makes his mark, and the earth is “bleared, smeared with toil;” still “nature is never spent;/There lives the dearest freshness deep down things.”
“As the light increased
I discovered around me an ocean of mist,
which by chance reached up to exactly the base of the tower,
and shut out every vestige of the earth,
while I was left floating on this fragment
of the wreck of the world,
on my carved plank in cloudland;
a situation which required,
no aid from the imagination
to render it impressive.”
–Henry David Thoreau
Thoreau visited Mt. Greylock and this quote of his we saw near the summit. Our visits seem to have been during similar weather. How incredible, to walk where he did, to see the mountain’s peak through similar lenses. Yet another example: God has spoken once, twice I have heard him.