I’ve often told people who are preparing to travel and are fearful about what they might find at their appointed destination that they take their environment with them. Environment is not a state of matter, but of Mind, and Mind is everywhere, I explain. What is true in Mind where you begin is true about Mind where you end up. So, one way to work for a successful trip is to know the truth about Mind’s harmonious universe before you leave. Because you will find where you end up what you take with you along the way. I had a chance to prove this truism recently.
My family and I headed to Yellowstone Park last week for a vacation. One of our anticipated trip highlights was hiking deep into the backwoods with llamas. Yes llamas! During our drive to Yellowstone we weren’t sure what to expect when we arrived, for fires were raging out of control all over this part of the country, including the Yellowstone Park region.
As we drove up our first morning to meet our llama outfitter, we remarked amongst ourselves that we needed to pray more for the fires to cease and skies to clear so the forest would be saved and, for selfish reasons, we could see the scenery while hiking! The horizon was filled with smoke and haze from fires near and far.
We had watched the weather forecast the night before, and there wasn’t a rain cloud in sight on the radar screen all the way out into the Pacific Ocean, many hundreds of miles away. So, in my own prayers, I thought, “God’s skies are clear, and God’s forests are safe. There is more than one way for divine Love to keep the atmosphere clear. And rain clouds don’t have to show up on a radar screen first before there’s hope of relief.”
When we arrived at our designated trailhead, met our trail guides and befriended the llamas, we headed off to hike the first 6 miles of our adventure. No sooner did we begin walking, but a gentle breeze blew our way, and within a short period of time, all smoke in the valley was gone. The view was spectacular and awesome. Plus, in 85 degree weather, the breeze felt wonderful.
In my quiet way, I praised God’s good, marveled at His beautiful creation and enjoyed the lively company each footstep of our trek up the long majestic valley. The day was filled with joy, increased appreciation and love for God’s picturesque and beautiful universe, and with gratitude to be a part of it.
The mountain we were headed for in the far background
That evening, after we had made camp, ate dinner and washed up, no sooner had we tucked ourselves in for the night in our tent, but it started to rain, and it continued to rain on and off all night. The next morning, our guides were thrilled with the wet conditions declaring it was the first time in over a month they had seen water coming from the sky, and of course, was so needed to put out nearby blazes. The next night it poured and poured, and from brief news reports I’ve seen since, the drenching put out all local fires. As we toured the vast Park later, the skies were pristine clear, and not a fire to be seen or smoke to be viewed from anywhere. We were immensely grateful to God for the beautiful views and safe environment.
From what I understand, we all need to pray for the rest of Montana to be wild fire-free too, for there are still many blazes further up north. But I rejoice in this one small proof of relief coming in most unexpected ways and from seemingly out of nowhere. We left home in peace, back in Washington, and we found peace where we ended up here in Yellowstone.
I realized more clearly in my prayers that fire does not have to be destructive, and lightning does not have to be dangerous. Every activity and action in the universe of Mind serves a useful and peaceful purpose, all blending together in one harmonious whole. There is no room or space for hurt and harm amongst God’s creatures and creation, and this is the mental environment we all can experience more of.
And the above is only the beginning of the story I have yet to tell!
More trip blogs to come….
One of our new llama friends!