Hurricane Hill at Night

Posted by David

For me, Helfa didn’t cross my mind, not once. Our trip up Hurricane Hill at night was a movement into the Sublime. I wanted my dad to go there with me. I have been there, at night in the wilderness, so many times before. I wanted him to experience it with me.

Walking at night in the wilderness at night has been an important part of my life for many years now, at least as long as I’ve been an adult away from my parents. It makes no difference whether the moon is full or new, if there are at least a few stars visible in the universe above, the experience is the same. I walk out into the vastness of God’s creation and feel as if the universe and I are of the same ilk.

I can touch the moon. I can touch a star. I can reach out and touch the hazy blur of Andromeda. The light in my eye from these distant places is just that: in my eye. Their light is in me. I am a part of them and they are a part of me. In the sublime, I find that the speed of light is irrelevant. Time and space is irrelevant. The stellar bodies, their space, and me are of one body: God’s creation with Christ as our head, as Teilhard de Chardin would remind us.

On that special night, when my dad entered the sublime with me, the stage was set with a grand sunset. The fiery ball had sunk beneath the edge of the earth minutes before we arrived at the trailhead. In its wake a sea of crimson and orange faded upward into the earth’s blue shadow. The light-sharpened and serrated western mountainous horizon provided a pure Gestalt form for my time-boundless psyche to explore. The brilliant light in the sky above and solid-opaque Olympic Mountain below tunneled into my subconscious sparking memories unresolvable, memories that are more akin to the dream of an infant. Those are feeling-stories spoken in color and form, without words, without names, and without knowledge, but full of wisdom. They are the stories worth telling. I wish I could tell them with words or more plausibly with music. They shatter my worldly reality. They are the words of God himself. Jesus tells these stories. Jesus is this story. I am only an infant yet a brother in the Sublime.

The horizon of which I consumed followed us all the way to the top of Hurricane Hill, waning as the stars and quarter moon waxed.  At the top we could see long horizontal lenses and tails of Zephyr cirrus clouds over a small corner of the Pacific. The curve of the earth was detectable, maybe only through logic. I tried to take some photos for my dad. There is no justice in those picts.

I write this now and hesitate to describe what was on the other side of Hurricane Hill. I hesitate to mention the lights twinkling in the cityscapes below. I hesitate to cast your eyes northward upon the array of lights spreading in a linear scatter plot, mapping out the landforms and massive waterways from Port Angeles to Victoria and onward over the San Juans to the metropolis of Vancover, British Columbia. I hesitate because I don’t want to look back into the choppy sea of humanity, but to look forward to the peace and sublimity of the Kingdom of God.

But I cast your mind’s eye on those lights in the cities, towns and houses, because those lights represent the sublime too. Just look beyond the facades, push aside the pride and prejudice, throw off the rose-colored glasses, clean up the self-pity, rip off the dead skin and look. There it is. See. See all the stars. Focus in on one, on yours. It really is.  You’re right. It’s not all that much different than Alpha Centuri nor our sun for that matter. But your star is very special. Keep it uncovered and you’ll see where it takes you. It’s the most important thing God ever gave you. For it is you. No you don’t! Don’t you dare hide it under that bushel.

This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine…Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.



Filed under Astronomy, Christianity, wilderness

2 responses to “Hurricane Hill at Night

  1. I would love to experience this someday.

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