It’s time to dig out my blaze orange gear. My favorite hiking season is at hand. I have no complaints about the season just ended, though. It was a beautiful summer in New Hampshire and beyond, including out west for what I expect was a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
A friend and I recently drove upstate on business. We stretched the drive home into a winding trip through two notches (local parlance for a mountain pass) before finally settling down to I-93. After all, it was early autumn. Even if the leaves weren’t turning yet, the crisp air was worth taking time to enjoy.
There were things waiting to be done at home. My friend and I had every reason to scoot back at top speed once the business meeting was over. We decided instead to savor the mountains as best we could from the car. We are both of a political bent, and this is the high season for that. All the more a treat, then, to decide on the spur of the moment to put busy-ness and campaigns aside for a few hours.
At home later, I found these words from Pope St. John Paul II. They fit the day. John Paul understood savoring the right things.
Whoever really wants to find himself, must learn to savor nature whose charm is intimately linked with the silence of contemplation. The rhythms of creation are so many paths of extraordinary beauty along which the sensitive and believing heart easily catches the echo of the mysterious, loftier beauty that is God Himself, the Creator, the source and life of all reality.