"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"
Monday, July 30, 2007
Home by another way
I was up near Mt. Shasta on a little campout with some friends from the football team Saturday night. Sunday morning as I drove away I found myself turning left to head further into the mountains, rather than right to go back to I-5 and head home. State Highway 89 takes you to some amazing places. Stopped at Macarthur-Burney Falls State Park for awhile. It was more than worth the $6.00 to sit on a rock in the pool and be blasted by the wind and mist coming off the falls; it was probably 65 - 70 degrees down there compared to 90 - 95 up top. The water is so deep blue green. Pool is supposedly 18 - 24 feet deep, and [not supposedly] ice cold, so I imagined what it would be like to be in the pool rather than literally trying to find out. No signs that say "no swimming," but people seem naturally deterred from anything much beyond dangling their feet in the water. Which I did. There's just a lot going on in this pool as you can see. It almost looked like a tiny ocean. I noticed that almost everyone hiking back up the short switchback path from the falls was smiling. Something about charged ions and waterfalls? I can't remember...the positive ions make you happy...or something...maybe I've got it backwards. The sun caught individual droplets of the spray and turned the falls into liquid light.
I still wanted a swim so I headed down the road for Lassen and any convenient lake off the main road. Summit Lake was perfect. People there, but not too many. I was wearing my new "bionic" knee brace and I can report that it feels fine in the water. Better than without it, I think.
I swam across the lake (not at the widest point, and it's not a huge lake, but far enough). I floated on my back with my eyes closed (this is something best done in a lake)--the sun was still high in the sky and soaked it all in. No photos of this...couldn't take my cellphone swimming with me...but if you can think of a bright blue lake with happy little clusters of big and little people and their floating devices around the edges (no motor boats), surrounded by pine trees, at about...8,000' or so?, and if you can think of floating in the lake like a big pink waterlily with the sun filling you up, then you don't need a photo anyway.