Living Well

Inside the Blue Line*: Spiritual Reflections on Life in the Adirondack Park


mysteryThere’s something almost “Brigadoon-ish” about the view when the fog settles into the valleys here among the mountains. It feels as though we’re in a ‘time out of time’ here. The edges get blurred, the clock seems to stop, and the firm structure of daily rhythm seems to slip away.

To me, it is a wonderful invitation into mystery. At the top level, the mystery is:

When will the skies clear so we can resume our outdoor chores and plans?

Or maybe the mystery is:

Will rain come from these clouds so our dry earth and rivers can be restored?

These can be important questions, and the mystery will be solved when conditions change.

At the same time, I find myself drawn to the mystery within.

What are the interior clouds that cover the truth of Holy Presence within?

What might I discover if I let go into the ‘time out of time’  flow, pausing for a deep dive into such questions as:

What is the purpose of life in this world?

Why are we here?

What is the goal of our work and all our efforts?

What need does the earth have of us?+

 How might I let go into mystery in my daily life, trusting that what I see is a tiny facet of the Universal Whole?

What is it like to consider that many mysteries will remain unsolved this side of heaven?

When we have a stretch of clear, sunny days, I find myself struggling to break free of the confines of clear, well-established rhythms and answers, longing for the clouds of mystery to invite me to take a deep breath . . .  into wonder.

*The Blue Line is the term used in New York state for the boundaries of the Adirondack  (and Catskill) parks, within which can be found the state’s Forest Preserve. The state constitution requires that any property owned or acquired by the state in those parks “be forever kept as wild forest lands” and prohibits it from selling or transferring them in any way. It is so called because blue ink was used when they were first drawn on state maps.

+These four questions come from Pope Francis’s encyclical on Care for Our Common Home, Laudato Si.