Sanctuary, a poem by Bob Bader, one of our snowshoers


My soul finds rest in these mountains
High against the sky I find my destiny,
In these craggy towering peaks.
The earthy smells of the trees and pines
and even the rocks and earth, rise to greet me.

The rushing spring whispers to me
Come see and be part of this cathedral
Listen to my song, hear the forest choir sing,
Worship here and be at peace.

The bull moose stands majestically as I walk by,
He looks at me and seems to ask,
What are you doing here in this my sanctuary?

I have come to understand what and who I am,
Where I came from and where I 'm going
To release my very soul from its human bondage,
To glorify this my God, my creator,
To relish and honor all creation.

I tread on paths worn smooth by footsteps of the ages
By people long gone
Whose spirit remains to guide me and show me
This beauty, this awe inspiring scene, this sanctuary holy to all.

Aw, this morning as I climb
The sky is cloudy one moment and the next the sun shines bright
And then wispy clouds cover the mountain tops
As a storm fast approaches in the valley far below.

Worn rocky trails of barren trees and fallen leaves
Call me and beacon me on
Distant rifle shots echo and remind me of what I have left behind
Far far behind
As the cold wind tells of the coming storm.

Deep untreked snow sinks beneath my snowshoe treads
As I move on through sunlit passages
Cold crisp mountain air sears my lungs with every breath
As rushing babbling springs welcome me here
Deep in these mountain forests.

Mountain ranges rise on each side
With sunlit snow studded peaks towering to the heavenly skies
Golden white mountain tops
Cloudy skies interlaced with vivid sunlit choral blue
Ribbon highways winding in the valley far below.

The snow whipped by the raging wind stings my eyes
Crusts my beard and penetrates every knook and cranny of my very being
The cold penetrates me like a knife cutting deep
The melting snow upon my face cools me and quenches the raging fire deep within.

As I face the raging storm, my resolve is strong
Neither the cold bitter wind nor freezing temperatures
Or the impossible situation, shall deter me
Rather this shall make me stronger and more determined
To reach the lofty heights, to touch the face of God.

But I am but one of the group, not the leader
For she is in front leading us on in her gentle way
Pushing us beyond our own self imposed limitations
Showing us our inner strength
Allowing us to enjoy this thy sacred cathedral.

Welcome to this- my cathedral, my son
My white granite temple of towering peaks
Studded with white laced green evergreen trees
Cast against the golden sky
With babbling brooks and rushing streams
Tread lightly here and leave only your footprints behind.

Take your troubles and worries
And lay them down here
At the base of this my mountain temple
And do not take them up again.

Words whisper and fail to convey all that is here
Deep within I hear a voice, a very sacred voice
Pass not here without remembering those long gone
Nor failing to embrace both those here and those to come.

10/24/09, - 1/25/10