I took a walk around the family acreage to observe the fall scenery and keep seeing dusky blues and swarthy plum purples.
I guess October colors aren't always gold and orange.
Marty is our mystery bird. A classic peacock, he showed up on our property one day with clipped wings and pulled feathers. Now he roosts with the barred-rock chickens and the white down-feathered ducks.
His plumage feathers are growing back slowly, but it's still an interesting lesson present.
Beauty is never gone forever.
It fact, it never ceases to come back 'round.
A few weeks back, in the end fringes of the month of September, I had the chance to hike the backside of Pike's Peak with the students at Summit. At 14,115, feet it's one of Colorado's 54 fourteeners, and it remains my first (and only, for right now) fourteener to hike. The day started early and was absolutely perfect for the 6 mile hike to the top from our starting base at the Mennonite Camp. I hiked the backside last year, and it's amazing what a 2nd time 'round perspective will let you see.
I saw the switchbacks differently because I knew the terrain better.
I had a different feeling towards to route to devil's playground, because I knew a reprieve came afterward.
I saw the big, obtuse obstacles near the summit as a joy, instead of curse, for rest remained at the top, just within reach.
It was a good hike, and I'm sure I was reminded at least once or twice of Moses as he climbed a mountain and met God.
Stephen (photo cred), Andrew and I held silent moment, missing Micah via his buttery scones.
(Confession: They got a little moldy in the mail. Sorry, M.)
Now fast forward a few weeks. Add a brother, a sister and her boyfriend who have yet to see what life could be like at 14,000 feet.
Mix into the tale another perfect day, a red train and way to the top of Pike's Peak that is less, shall we say, grueling.
Cody and Ben came out to join us on a long road trip home, but not before heading over to the Pike's Peak Cog Railway to, you know, take a train up that mountain.
As I've said before, and will say again
"There is something magical about trains."
There's also something really fun about becoming a tourist for a day and seeing something with a different view. And so we did.
Apparently, I'm still the best ever at taking the worst ever self portraits.
Ben recently moved home from Kappa, Hawaii, and was feeling the sub-degree weather at the top. I guess it hasn't snowed in Hawaii for a while.
It was cold, actually. Really cold. I forgot how much flats don't work in snow.
But, oh. The view.
And the classic pose. I guess this isn't the normal tourist behavior. At least, that's what the girl at the top from Norway said.
All in all, it was a mountain adventure worth remembering, and I think we will.
If you haven't already, please add "Take a train" to your bucket list, plan a trip and go.
Go with the ones you love.
I'm alive, back in Minneapolis and I'm slowly getting back into world-wide-web-picture-sharing mode. I thought that I'd pull some gems out from the lost land of July. Here's a spackling of pictures from what happened to be a few really great weeks in the Colorado Mountains.
Okay, I guess it was a few more than a few.
Ten weeks, really.
I was called to the Garden, again. Mountains have a way of calling out names, and this summer was no exception.
I had the outstanding opportunity to work and study Christian Worldview at Summit Ministries in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Summit is designed to equip young people for a life of faith and active culture making in their world. They do it well and with a lot of chutzpa.
It's a glorious pleasure to live in an old white hotel along side two-hundred incredibly interesting people.
To quote the founder, Dr. David Noebel :" It's more fun than a human oughta have."
Students attending Summit hear over 70 hours of lectures on Christianity, Culture and Apologetics from speakers like John Stonestreet, Sean McDowell and Dr. Del Tackett.
John Stonestreet with hosts a daily radio snippet on Christianity and Culture Here.
I also spent a legitimate amount of time riding on Julianne's school bus through the mountains...
... and loved meeting and making new friends via small groups.
I had the chance to work with these two classy men in the classroom:
David Knopp (who keeps a tremendous blog here) and Stephen Sutherland (who doesn't blog, but would probably want you to read this.) I'm not sure how exactly our paths were allowed to cross again, but I'm a better woman because of it.
I'm also a better woman because God's graced me with Joanna Dukes this summer. Possibly the most practical Tolstoy reading, poem slinging, letter writing, mountain climbing, ab-ripper-personal-trainer and psalmist woman I've ever roomed with. She's in my top 10.
And again I was reminded this summer that if you look for you love, you'll find it. (Or it will find you.)
And so, I found love, again. In Manitou Springs:
Love seems like a good place to end the summer, eh?
Minneapolis, Minnesota is a good place to end the summer. And that's where I'm at -hunkered down in my rent-a-basement bedroom, cozy in amidst a stack of counseling textbooks and a pile of story boards, head reeling with all the stories I've experienced thus far- and all the Untolds to come.
This summer was outrageous. So many people, so many stories, and so many continued possibilities.
What are your Autumn possibilites?
Mine have a whole lot to do with October.