Look at All The Evergreens!
When we were landing in Seattle yesterday, I made a revelation. The Northwest United States has a lot of evergreen trees! I was of course mocked afterwards about it, and I laughed about it as well, but I did say it with a bit of seriousness. A major point of this pilgrimage, in my opinion, is to get away from our bustling city lives. And obviously we don't see many evergreens in downtown Atlanta, so an immediate abundance of this tree was something new to me.
While waiting out our four hour layover in Seattle, Tim told us about how he has had his own "things" on previous pilgrimages. So, if his thing was birds, and someone saw a rare or cool bird, the they would immediately point it out to him. So, my "thing", I guess, on this trip is evergreens. Even though you see an evergreen almost every five feet here, it still has some significance to me. They represent a new part of the world and a new environment that I have ever experienced before.
About an hour ago, we arrived at the shrine of St. Therese, and it is absolutely incredible. We are all staying in one cabin, on the Alaskan shores. On the horizon, snow topped mountains are illuminated by the sun, trying its best to sneak through the overcast sky. It is very isolated, and I like that. As aforementioned, I wanted to get away from, my normal life, and this location is ideal. After the walking the stone-lined labyrinth, I took a walk to the chapel with several other pilgrims. There is an ever better overlook there of the Alaskan wilderness, and we just stood there, silent. Not talking of our lives back home, but just observing and taking in life. While standing there, I thought of the creation story that Tim read to us before we embarked on our three hour hike through the Tongass National Forrest, as we stood in front of a glacier, and while I looked at all the evergreens.
"And God saw everything that he made, and, behold, it was very good."