It’s another hustle-bustle workday morning. I’m waiting at the Link Lightrail train station for my thirty-five minute commute to downtown Seattle. Stacked in lines, passengers’ eyes and ears are plugged into i-Pods-Pads-Phones. The wait is brief, but drudgery is worn on their faces. Mine probably looks a little weary, too. Isn’t there more goodness in the day than their expressions glean? Isn’t there more to my day?
As the train approaches, I look down at one of the paver stones on which I stand. It says, “I wish I could see Mt. Rainier from my house.”
Mount Rainier is a 14,410’ tall active volcano and the highest mountain in Washington and the Cascade Range. It dominates the skyline south of Seattle like a giant snowcone. Often Seattleites judge the weather by the range of its visibility. “The Mountain is out today,” means the sun is going to shine. “Dang, no mountain today,” predicts a chance of rain.
I’ve traipsed over Rainier’s flanks from all sides and roamed through endless sub-alpine meadows of wildflowers and snowy paths. Logs, rocks and bridges have supported me over glacier fed streams and rivers. I’ve camped near its turquoise lakes and under canopies of rich green conifers.
Rainier’s critters have filled my senses: trills of thrushes and nuthatches; squeaking marmots and pikas; bearded mountain goats jumping rocky ledges; high-withered bugling elk, and the rustling of a black bear in a ripe blueberry patch.
As the mountain’s wildflowers lean into the sun’s rays, I face Mount Rainier. From wherever I am in Seattle, like a broken compass refusing to steer toward magnetic north, my eyes pull southward, toward the mountain. Up close, I know it personally. From afar, I stand in awe.
And though not everyone in the Puget Sound region can see Rainier from their house, on a clear day, “The Mountain is out” for all to admire.
Do we take for granted the views, the daily blessings, which surround our lives? Do we get up each day and lean towards the good, the high peaks, even though they seem distant? Though our lives become temporarily blunted by cloud cover, be assured—goodness and beauty is near.
At times we need a small reminder to focus on what we have instead of what we lack. Pick up your feet. Look to where you’re standing. This morning, at the Lightrail station, I did just that. I’m one of the fortunate ones who, as the paver stone wishes, can “…see Mt. Rainier from my house.” What is the Mt. Rainier that towers over your life, yet sometimes you lose site of it? What goodness and beauty shines on you from your home and from where you stand right now? Open your eyes and ears to the blessing that is there.
Love this day.