The clouds poured out water; the skies thundered; *
your arrows flashed to and fro;
The sound of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lit up the world; *
the earth trembled and shook. Psalm 77: 17-18
I’ve mentioned the rain storms we’ve been experiencing, and while I haven’t seen Troop One for a couple of days, I hope they have not been hit.
It is amazing, but I guess not surprising, that the thunder clouds cling to the mountains. New Mexico is known for “Where the Mountains Meet the Plains,” and that is exactly where Base Camp sits. To the east of us is the plains where the sky is blue with fluffy white clouds. Behind us to the west and mostly to the north these days, the clouds are dark and ominous.
I said to the Troop last week that I would tell them one of my Mount Baldy stories after they had climbed it. So here it is for you all.
It was 2005, my first summer here as a Chaplain. I hiked up the highest mountain on the ranch – 2,500 feet above sea level. I met a Crew coming up the back side of Baldy when a storm moved in. Like I said, the clouds – and the storms – hug the mountains. There was nothing we could do, we were at the top. There was no use in taking the “Lightning Position” (hunkered down in a squatting pose 12 feet away from the next person), because… The storm was forming underneath, yes, underneath us – down below our feet lower around the mountain! Have you ever been in an airplane and see a storm below you? We were not able to fly higher out of the storm!
It was awesomely scary!
Fortunately, the storms here go away as quickly as they come. So we were all able to descend Baldy safely, though logically a bit shaken with fear and awed with majesty at the same time. We talked about all the way down to Baldytown, at the ‘bottom’ of the mountain.
I don’t know if I have ever before or since felt, loved and appreciated, and yes, feared the powerful majesty of God in Creation.