Recently we spent a few days in Jackson, WY. It was a new destination for us, and fresh and different sights filled our days and nights.
Above all the landscape was a powerful reminder of the bigness of our world and the smallness of me as an individual. I was awe inspired by the beauty of nature and the gifts of God evident in each corner and in every vast expanse. It was impossible to take it all in – but we did our best at looking and gawking and staring and being so thankful to be present – there, at that time, in that spot.
One morning we took a float trip down the Snake River. Such peace and delight. There was so much to see at every turn, so much to consider, so many differences to note.
The rivers there spread out and meander along as if they are anxious to see for themselves what is around the next bend. Then suddenly they squeeze together and rush between hills and ridges that appear out of nowhere, or they reach the edge and plunge powerfully into the next stage of their life.
And the water in those rivers and streams is cool, clear, and pure. The rocks below and the fish within are in plain sight. How different from the green coves of our lake at home.
One day we hiked to Hidden Falls near Jenny Lake. As we stood there taking in the sight we felt a powerful, unending air conditioner blowing directly on us, a combination of the mountain air and water bringing us refreshment, energy, and encouragement for the rest of our hike.
We looked – and saw – moose, elk, buffalo, white pelicans, bald eagles, ospreys, and cutthroat trout. How peaceful to share these spaces with such mighty animals. They went about their business without being very concerned about our presence. We were thankful they would share their world with us.
The times we went to the top of the mountains we were overwhelmed again by the vastness of the spaces and the vistas that spread out before us. Putting everything into perspective from such a vantage point seemed unreal.
The powerful winds atop the mountains and the steep drop off made me wonder how anyone snow skis. And can you ever take it all in, the reality of moving down those spaces so quickly, from one world into the next? Even on a slow tram I was amazed by making that transition.
When we visited Yellowstone National Park, our first time there, it was everything we had seen and read about, and so much more at the same time. Old Faithful lived up to its name.
As we walked into the Inn there behind a young boy, I heard him say, “It looks like something from Harry Potter,” and I had to agree.
The glowing colorful pools, the grand canyon, Yellowstone Lake – so many things to see, experience, and remember. Such powerful examples of the power and beauty in our planet earth.
I wonder if people who live there take such things for granted. Or is it fresh and new to them each day? And I wonder about what it is like there in the brutal cold of winter. And how do you learn to live with such contrasts? And I wonder if I will ever go back, and will it all be just as amazing to me then if I do return?
I left thankful to have seen this part of our great country, so different from where I live, so vast and beautiful, so inspiring. And I am so thankful we are all in this together, those folks in Wyoming, and us folks here in Tennessee. All part of our great America.
Of thee I sing!