Along the two and one-half mile trail, you climb nearly 1300 feet on the way to Mitchell Point. One of the markers for me has always been the fallen log I call, Evolving Fish. Evolving Fish is about one-third of the way up the steep path.
Evolving Fish is so named because the fallen tree reminds me of the images of a fish with rudimentary front legs emerging from the primordial sea. Each time I encounter the Evolving Fish on my journey to the peak, I pause. I reflect upon the essence that courses through and connects nature including humanity.
The connecting essence, which I call God, courses through each rocky precipice, each tiny bud, spider, and person. A characteristic truth about creation is that it is not static. Continual change – becoming – is an integral part of creator and creation. This can be observed in nature’s cycle of life, death, and resurrection. God still-creates and fuels the still-evolving world.
And so it is fitting that on a recent journey to the rocky precipice above the Columbia River, I noted that my primordial friend has begun to noticeably decay. Much of Evolving Fish’s face has fallen away. The eye is less pronounced; the nose has crumbled away.
At first I grieved the loss. But of course Evolving Fish must decay. Evolving Fish must ultimately die and become the soil, the ground, the foundation of what will be. That is the nature of our ever-in-process, ever-evolving world. It is the nature of creation and each of us. It is the nature of the One, the essence of all-that-is.
And, so, each time I journey to commune at the peak, I will still pause. As Evolving Fish decays, I will remain in relationship with my changing friend. When Evolving Fish is no more, I will watch for the new thing that will spring forth.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. — Lao Tzu