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Lessons from Mt. Shasta

By Susan Kramer

My husband and I slowly hiked up the side of Mt. Shasta from just above 12,000 feet elevation where road access ends. Note that Mt. Shasta is a dormant volcano at the southern end of the Cascade Mountains in California. Its most recent eruption was about 200 years ago.

 

As we slowly began the ascent my breathing became labored and I had to make more of an effort to keep going. This reminded me that as in life, when a goal is difficult to achieve, the rewards in the end are sometimes all that much greater.

 

Looking up from the higher and higher elevation I saw that the majestic height of trees began to diminish, and they became satisfied to grow shorter and then as compact shrubs. Finally, there were no trees above us as in the photo here. I thought about this phenomena as I slowly put one foot in front of the other. Here was as example of nature showing us to make the best use of our environment that we can, and still be satisfied with the results. And when our resources run out it is time to change our goals using what is available.

 

Turning around, looking out 360 degrees was a most uplifting sight. I felt like I was on top of the world. Views of mountain ranges rolled out in all directions and gave me a feeling of majesty and appreciation for life. And standing still at this elevation allowed me to rest, breathe quietly, and not exert too soon.

 

When I looked in all directions and not just forward, I saw the richness of scenery in all directions. This was a lesson for me in appreciating what is at hand at the moment. Truly living in the present moment.

 

Im so glad to have made this trek toward the summit of Mt. Shasta, even though I didnt walk upward beyond the tree line. I did my best and was satisfied that it was enough. Even below the summit the views were incomparable. It reminded me to be content in life, even if my original goal is unattainable.

 

 

More: http://www.susankramer.com

 

Lessons from Mt. Shasta 2019-2020 Susan Kramer; photo from family archive

 

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About the Author: A meditation and yoga practitioner since 1976, Susan Kramer writes on practical spirituality, family and social issues, and dance. Her instructional books are listed at her web site http://www.susankramer.com/books.html

Email: susan@susankramer.com

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