Communal Grasses

Communal Grasses
A Single Blade
A single blade of grass in the midst of many at Washington’s Columbia Hills State Park near The Dalles, Oregon. Photo by Tim Graves

It is hard to photograph the beauty of wild grasses as they dance at the behest of the winds. Like the green and golden wheat fields of my eastern Oregon home, the movement of the grasses sparkle in the sunlight. First left, than right, sometimes in a whirling flourish, but always the grasses move together in their choreography.

The ripples of the tassels move in concert; no one stalk takes center stage. While each blade of grass holds its own allure, it is the combined response of a field of individual grasses that gives me pause.

Together, the grasses respond to the breath of the earth. The result is magnificence no blade can achieve singly.


We are each of unique value to the whole, but we are an essential part of that whole as well.

Each of us hold an intrinsic beauty within us. Our inborn exquisiteness is an inherited mark of the divine. Created in the image of the one I call God, we are each connected through that divinity. Every human being and each blade of grass is of worth to the Divine.

Just as the grasses and wheat respond to the holy breeze, when we respond together to the luring breath of God the potential splendor is immeasurable. It is in our divine connectedness rather than in our individualism that our hope as a human family dwells.

Tall Majesty, Tiny Majesty

Tall Majesty, Tiny Majesty

It does not surprise me that our ancient kindred perceived mountaintops as the place where God resides. There is something mystical in the jutting face of mountains. There is something that calls to me when I am within sight of snowy peaks.

I often worry that I will drive off the road when in view of the snow-covered mountains of the Cascade Range, especially Oregon’s Mt. Hood. I struggle to keep my eyes on the road and off the divine curves of the rising rock..

Perhaps, the allure is stronger for me because, though I spent some of my childhood under its watchful gaze, most of my growing up years were in the mid-south and mid-west. Those regions of the country have much beauty but snow-capped peaks are not among them.

As I was hiking and climbing the rocks of Horsethief Butte in Washington state this morning, I tweeted that,

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Any trail with a view of Mt. Hood is a good trail.

I always feel safe hiking and climbing when I know that Mt. Hood is watching over me. When I nearly lost my way, when anxiety began to well up while hiking Mt. Defiance late last summer, my mood changed once I glimpsed Hood. I immediately knew where I was. I was no longer lost; Mt. Hood was with me. This parallels the comfort and relief I feel when I perceive God is with me.

Climbing and hiking this morning, the craggy rocks demanded my attention. The flowers that graced cliff face and meadow alike beckoned me to remember that though my mountain god watches from afar, God is within all of creation. God is in the resurrecting flowers of spring. God is in the buzzing flies and the rattlesnake who calls Horsethief Butte home.

God is in the tiny lavender flowers and the purple mountain. God is within me, within you, and between all that is.

Send your light and truth— those will guide me!
Let them bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling place. Psalm 43:3 CEB

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