Visiting Mount Rainier National Park recently sparked joy in my heart. I haven’t been there for a long time yet it felt like home. As soon as we crossed through the gate and into the park I sensed a difference. No more gas stations and Subway sandwiches, just trees and waterfalls, flowers and that mountain. That mysterious and magical mountain. Both peaceful and powerful. A perfect background for the fields of wildflowers that we breathed in and cherished. The flowers in the fields around Paradise were radiantly in bloom, filling our eyes with every color, even those colors that haven’t been named or spoken of were there. I suspect there are colors that we can’t see with our eyes, but they fill our hearts and our minds with light. Those colors were there too.

On the way up to Paradise we stopped to see Christine Falls and Narada Falls. The geologic formations around the falls were stunning. Just imagining the forces underneath this volcano are impressive and somewhat unsettling, knowing that this mountain is still an active volcano. Scary. Once at Paradise we hiked a short way towards Myrtle falls, enjoying the scenic valleys, and then hiked the Nisqually Vista Trail. We gazed at the viewpoints towards the glacier and at first just saw a brown rocky valley. Only after we paused and realized that we were hearing rushing water did we observe that what we had mistaken for rocks was really the Nisqually river! The brown glacial silt had camouflaged the river to our eyes. It was going downhill at a tremendous force on this hot day. The ice was melting. Experiencing the beauty of nature at Mount Rainier National Park has made a lasting impression with me. Somehow the forces of rocks and rivers, waterfalls and wildflowers have given me a promise that all I’m in the right place, and it’s a good place. A place I can call home.

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