Mountain hymn.

I took a hike yesterday,
Mud on boot soles, wind on my face
And as I reached that first landing,
And looked around me,
Down the wide valley,
Up to the Wasatch peaks,
I could see God
And hear His voice.

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He said,
I created this mountain,
And so have I created you.

I created this mountain,
And so have I created you.

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And it occurred to me
That there are parts of me
Just as hard and beautiful
As glorious and treacherous
As wild and slow-changing
And strong.

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I realized:
Am I not brimming with immortality,
Filled with a greater
Portion of eternity
Than the stones
That steady my feet?

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I walked further, gazed out on
The Great Salt Lake, and I wished
That I could take photographs
With my eyes
Instead of with my camera lens
Because that widening golden afternoon glory
The sun lowering behind the peaks
The color of the sky
Is inimitable.

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It was there that I knew
That the truest of artists
Must live between two worlds of beauty:

Experiencing vitally all that is present
And remembering fondly what is past.

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Like sunlight shifting,
Ephemeral through
The maple branches,
Flickering, changing,
Never out of motion,
Mercurial.

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My breaths were deeper there,
And I could feel the sheen gathering
On the back of my neck
As the treads of my boots
Gathered the damp earth
And water from the creek.

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And I was in love
With the air,
The light and the greenness of it all,
Calculated, painted,
And composed by God–
By my God.

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There is something noble, something slow
In living a life
By simply taking pleasure
In the beauty He’s created
By keeping record of it,
By bringing those we love along with us
To share in it.

Surely, there is an honor
In simply existing within it
While the rest of this world
Hurries onward with dying,
Hot and unobservant,
Glittering and brief.

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Am I not just as brief
As I am eternal?

Like the mountain
Whose imperceptible changes
Over ten thousand years
Eventually and wholly
Render it anew.

And as I stepped out of the woods
On that golden October afternoon,
Surveying the shining city lights, the wild cacti,
The cumulonimbus clouds stretching idly forth,
I remembered that
Four years ago that day
I was reborn for the first time
And every day afterwards–
Made a new creation,
Refined by blood and water, time and wind,
A mountain in His own right.

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