I have returned to the hill that sets my mind free. And why wouldn’t it? With over three miles of steep hills, forest trails, meadows, prairies, wildlife, and views that stretch miles wide, it’s enough to take my mind off the stuff of earth, all the while returning my eyes to the things of heaven.
I met perspective up on this hill. I see the forest through the trees.
I’ve tried ear buds and good music to spur me on as I make my way about these trails.
But, why? God’s creation sings here. If I cannot find motivation in that alone seeking instead to find motivation in that which man has created, then what’s the point?
This place is my place because this place is His place.
Early each morning as I make my way about the paths that weave throughout this place, I see amazing things.
I see daises upon daises seemingly rising to the feet of their stems in the most peculiar of postures for that of a flower. It’s as if they arise each day with a posture of worship to the hands that made them. It really is a sight to behold.
I hear the birds sing, I see rabbits play, and occasionally I see a doe. Birds soar and the aroma of wild berries and flowers permeate various points on the trail. I forget about the stuff of earth here.
Sure, it takes time to open up the window and let the bad air out, but when it does…
I come here to make peace with life.
The sounds of civilization which lie just over the next hill try as they might to be made known in this place. But once one walks into the trees of what one passerby once called the inner sanctuary, which begins at the top of the hill, these sounds fade quickly into the sounds of all creation sings as if they know a don’t disturb sign has been erected by the Maker of all things.
Life is fast. And sometimes its hard to keep up. Sometimes we try way too hard to keep up. Yet all the while we’re walking to the beat of someone else’s drum.
On this hill, I recalibrate my heartbeat. On these trails, I find His rhythm.
I left a lot of me on these trails.
I like it that way. I don’t want to come here to start the conversation, but so many times… to finish it.
I call this place altar. And why wouldn’t I? With over three miles of steep hills, forest trails, meadows, prairies, wildlife, and views that stretch miles wide, it’s enough to take my mind off the stuff of earth, all the while returning my eyes to the things of heaven.
*** This is my daily retreat. Each day I drive just a few short minutes to this beautiful nature park that sits just outside of Portland, Oregon. It is my daily pilgrimage to peace.
*** These are a few pictures from my treks. See more on my Instragram profile here > @GunnarSimonsen