Emerald Pool . . . and Rosh HaShana

The brook near Emerald Pool

The brook near Emerald Pool

I spent much of Friday packing up the house and getting ready for the long drive to our hometown, where for the next month we’ll be spending time with family and friends while celebrating the upcoming Jewish holidays.

I couldn’t help but feel a bit wistful that this year’s timing of the Jewish calendar meant that I would miss the peak of leaf-peeping season, not to mention the greatest time of year to go hiking.

I decided right then and there that I would make the most of the short time remaining to me and drove to Evans Notch with my dog riding shotgun.

I passed these two huge barns on a country road in Chatham NH, being powered by an immense solar electric system that stretches across both roofs.  The barns were empty.  I am so curious to know what they are powering!

I passed these two huge barns on a country road in Chatham NH, being powered by an immense solar electric system that stretches across both roofs. The barns were empty. I am so curious to know what they are powering!

There wasn’t time for a serious hike but that would not stop me from going for a beautiful walk through the woods on the beginning of Baldface Circle Trail to Emerald Pool.  It is immediately apparent how Emerald Pool got its well-deserved name.

 

Emerald Pool lives up to its name.  It is a popular swimming hole for locals in summer, and the upper rock is used as a diving board.

Emerald Pool lives up to its name. It is a popular swimming hole for locals in summer, and the upper rock is used as a diving board.

We didn’t have time to go further on the trail, where it continues to Chandler Gorge.   It’s incredible to think that much of this walk is on private property from which its generous owners permit public access, providing hikers don’t wander carelessly off the trail.  Think about it:  the more precious the object, the more likely we are to guard it and keep it for ourselves.  That’s just human nature.  It takes a special spirit, and someone who understands the true meaning of love (love = giving), to know that it’s even more special to share than to hoard; to be selfless rather than selfish.

Hiking in the White Mountains is very much a part of my spiritual preparation to greet the Jewish New Year.  Some random thoughts from atop a mountain:

  • Most of the time reward comes with effort… and rarely without it.
  • With every disappointment and when there is no reward, it’s not the end of the world.
  • HaShem (G-d) has made a truly gorgeous, wondrous world
  • I am super blessed and grateful to be in and part of this world
  • I am both blessed and grateful for good health
  • Even when I am alone, HaShem is there
  • Even when I’m alone, I’m not lonely
  • Even when I’m poised on top of the mountain, I’m at the edge – –  and must tread thoughtfully and purposefully
  • Even when I think I’ve made it to the top, there will always be more summits to reach – – and not all are attainable
  • Life is short yet time is relative.  It marches slowly when the kids are small and moves too fast when you are old.
  • Silence can be both loud and quiet.  Both types teach us to really listen, if we are willing to hear.
  • Looking out and down from the mountaintop, how truly humbling it is to see that I am but a dot or blip in the vast landscape
  • No matter how external events wreak havoc, and have the power to poison and destroy, evil is not permanent and HaShem is eternal.
Happy New Year!   Wishing my friends, family, and readers a year of multiple blessings, good health, and peace.

 

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