Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Plains

Last Friday, my son and I drove more than eight hours from Spokane to southern Alberta. We followed the highway in a somewhat northward direction to Cranbrook, British Columbia, and then continued east through the Canadian Rockies. The extreme contrast of nearly vertical mountain peaks and jagged canyon-like valleys forces the highway into a twisted and torturous route, but the terrain, both harsh and beautiful, inspires wonder.

As we emerged from Crowsnest Pass onto the westernmost edge of the Great Plains, I felt a subtle change. An intangible drive compelled me to stop the car, get out, and breathe in the new scenery. I can't say I heard a physical voice, but something in the spirit of the land seemed to form words on my heart: "You made it. We've been waiting for you." The landscape was alive, and all the spirits of that place moved together; the tall grass, the rolling hills, the wide open spaces. The spirit-words continued: "Do you think you came here on your own? You arrived because we invited you..."

I touched the tops of the grass with my fingertips, and then continued our trip into Alberta.

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