“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.”
Sunday morning I awoke with a start, my mind as troubled as the world I was dreaming about. My already feeble brain resembled an unfinished jigsaw puzzle with several dozen pieces missing from the box. I was also in pain. Arthritis and sciatica…aging is not for the faint of heart. Instead of making the noises my father made I bit my tongue to keep from waking my wife and made my way down to the den. It was 4:30 in the AM and both of my puppies decided to follow asking with their paws to go outside.
Stepping outside with them into the crisp predawn air, I was struck by the dark beauty of a bright moonlit night. I remembered similar mornings from my past, previous life…my working life. For the ten years since my heart attack I have been, more than less, religious about running or walking. Recently, due to knee pain, it’s been more about walking but I find either exercise is a better pain killer than Advil. During my working days I would roust myself out of bed at 4:30 and hit the pavement by 5:15. Since my retirement I try to run or walk at a more civilized 7:30 or so. With nothing of interest on TV and a mind too cluttered to write, I decided to relive “those days of yesteryear, Hi Hoh Silver, Away!”
It was dark and cold as a made my way up the steep, half mile hill to the drive way at Lookup Lodge. This stretch is the darkest and most fearful part of my jaunt because of heavy timber forming a canopy over the road. Despite the bears, coyotes and wildcats who share my habitat I have never been too concerned about running into wildlife. I am much more concerned about the spirits, ghosts and haints that are just out of the range of my head lamp. This time of year I would always pause at the top of the hill before entering Look-Up Lodge and “look up.” This morning was no different. The constellation Orion waited above me to protect me from harm just as it always had. As I continued to gaze at my protector a shooting star flew across the still night sky reminding me to make a wish, one that I doubt will come true. Shakespeare wrote, “Whenever a mortal falls in sin, tears fall from angels’ eyes. And that is why at times there fall bright stars from out (of) the skies.” My guess is there will be more stars to fall.
A mile long downhill would lead me to the athletic field at Look-Up were I would again “look up” seeing Orion nipping at my heels before a short, slow uphill trek leads me to the lake and a view of an electrically lit, bare cross below the small mountains beyond. As a small child I would stay with my grandmother while my parents worked. Under her tutelage I memorized many Bible verses including one of her many favorites from Psalms, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.” The memory reminded me to pause and say a short prayer for humanity before beginning my mile and a half journey home.
My knees still ache, not as much as they did when I arose this morning, and judging from the morning news, the world is still just as troubled. My mind is clearer and less jumbled, I think I even found those missing jigsaw pieces. I may continue my predawn runs and walks…along with prayers at the lake at Look-Up.