The Third Special of the Special Posts in July

Summer Travels are a time for relaxing and in our family, some serious hiking. Our annual vacation destination is Montana. This year as always, we spend time with family before heading off to Glacier Park. The mountains had snow this past winter which meant one thing: the Going to the Sun Highway was not yet open. With the higher elevations cut off from hiking at least for a few days, alternative locations and activities came into play.

 

Our first stop was Swift Current Lake with a backdrop of mountains on almost every side. The air had a slight chill even here with the snow still clinging to the sides of the slopes.

 

The small bridge that I am standing on while taking this photo spans the river which flows from Swift Current Lake, changing from the tranquility of waters as clear as glass to the torrents of a raging waterfall and river. The noise is almost deafening as on stands on the bridge watching the wild river drop over the edge.

As I glance over to the right up on the cliff, something catches my eye. It brings to mind a project that has been in the works. Time for a closer look!

It is old and weathered and has been on this rock for years. There is no sign of life remaining. Yet it is a beautiful stump.

While the kids head across the lakes in kayaks, we head off on foot for a short hike. Along the way, there are more stumps. This one looks to be freshly cut, yet displays no signs of ongoing life. Is there life remaining? Is there a root to send forth a new shoot? I wonder………..

 

The next day saw us at the Trail of Cedars. This is a spectacular trail lined with majestic trees that soar to the heavens. These are the giants of the forest. Yet even giants can fall.

And the stump that remains is large enough to shelter a man.

Yet no life remains in this stump.

The barren trees along this trail stand as black sentinels. With no canopy above them, the flowers bloom in profusion.

Burned remains of this stump have no signs of life either. Yet in all of the forest walks could there be found a surviving stump?

In the deeper forest of Lohn’s Lake Trail, many stumps were covered with a rich green carpet of moss.

Most were nothing more than a pile of wood chips with nothing to indicate their former majestic and towering glory.

Still hoping, at last, the elusive stump springing forth life was found. It is a small branch protruding on the side. The mere brush from an animal or a burst of wind would finish the tree in the fraction. Yet life springs forth.

Yes, the hikes through snow and muddy horse trails, over rocks and up steep inclines were successful in many ways. My mind is refreshed with the promises that were given in days of old. Yes, Radix Jesse, which is one of the great O Antiphons.  And now it is back to work – or rather, back to (work on) the stump.

O Root of Jesse, who stands for an ensign of the people,

before whom kings shall keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles

shall make supplication: Come to deliver us, and tarry not.

Soli Deo Gloria

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