This afternoon, I was driving the family home from visiting some friends near Atlanta. I had decided not to take the interstate home because I really want to learn the back roads of our beautiful state, and I’ve found that the drive from Harris County to Atlanta is quite beautiful.

So today I was meaning to head down SR-85, but decided at the last minute to go along my new favorite road, which is Highway 190 which goes through Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park, which also happens to be one of my new favorite places. Molly and I had always said we wanted to live in the mountains at some point, having lived so close to the beach in our last station. We thought God might be joking when God said to come to Harris County because we were ignorant to the geography of our county. God ended up laughing after all when our jaws dropped when we saw the beautiful overlooks at FDR. Granted, we’re not in tip-top peaks of the Rockys, nor are we even in the gorgeous North Georgia mountains, but we have our mountain…and it is simply wonderful. We are SO blessed! It was a yucky day, misting rain, but these roads and these trees and these lookout points just felt right to me.

Not only that but the mountains have a musical feeling to me. When I got home, I listened to a friend’s recording of banjo music, which automatically takes me to the mountains. 

Then, I listened to an album put out by musicians at Church of the Holy Communion in Memphis, TN (thanks to Peggy Martin!), which is all Celtic worship music. The instruments played, from banjo to fiddle, from harp to hammered dulcimer, just remind me of being on the mountain. 

And I remember that it’s more spiritual than physical. Mountains are “thin spaces,” to use a Celtic phrase. Moses talked to Yahweh from the mountain, Jesus was transfigured on the mountain, and even now, mountains bring us closer to God. Even if it’s on a casual Saturday drive. 

So come Monday, my new 8th hour Lenten discipline is to get up on that mountain at least once a week. It’s so close, there’s no excuse. I want to hike, read, sit, gaze, and commune with my Lord. I want to listen to that good music, and once again get transported to that place where God’s so close, He’s sticky.