This photo is one of my favorites of Denali. If you look real close, you can even see two eagles (you know me and my love for eagles!) soaring majestically. Bill took this when he worked in Talkeetna last year.
I find myself going back to this photo and one of Government Peak that is now packed with fresh snow (it’s minus 11 as I write!).I can’t help but be filled with awe. The mountains often make me think of Mt. Spokane, where we moved into a home in 1990. It was a surreal occurrence that brought us to the home that would look out to the mountain.
Bill was thinking of looking into a dam (no, not damn!) job in the area, so, when he was asleep (he worked night shift at the time) I called over to Spokane Educational Service District just to see if occupational therapists were in need in the area. Well, I ended up with an interview the next day – which meant Bill had to take the night off as it was a good 6-8 hour drive from where we lived.
Long story short, I got a dream job, serving 26 rural school districts from Republic to Coulee City, Pullman to Newport and all places in between! My “office” was my car, and I LOVED it! But what I loved more was my morning quiet time when I would sit with a cuppa and look out over Mt. Spokane.
The woman who sold the house to us, learning I had battled cancer, told me as we sat on the concrete steps looking up at Mt. Spokane, that she had nursed her husband until his death with cancer, often looking up to that mountain. She shared with me that the view of the mountain became her strength as her husband’s health waned and it got harder and harder, because she remembered the words she learned as a girl: “I lift my eyes to the hills, from whence cometh My help. My help cometh from the Lord, who made the Heavens and Earth.” Psalms 121:1-2
“And you know what?” she said to me. “It’s true. I did gain strength, and I still am! I’ve learned as an old lady in her seventies that you can always lift your eyes to the hills and find strength, no matter what you are going through. In moments of weakness, lift your eyes to the hills you can see! In times of need or poverty, lift your eyes to those hills! But remember, too, you need to train your eyes by constantly getting the long view. As you train your eyes more and more, the distant peaks become familiar even if you can’t ‘see’ them. A parched and thirsty land looks to the Hills for it’s rivers, its streams of LIFE. So you look to those hills, young lady… you look at that mountain when you move in, because from THOSE Hills, and all the other hills and mountains, will come your strength. Look often. Look long.”
I have never forgotten Reka’s words to me. They have sustained me and served me well many a times over the years….through many of times of need, of strength, of help.
In 1976 when we were married, our “life verse” became “Go up to the mountains and say to the peoples: HERE is our God.”from Isaiah 40:9 We have always lived near big “hills” aka: mountains – Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens (in the Red Zone when it blew!), Mt. Spokane, and now we are surrounded by mountains, literally. here in our haven in Alaska.
Our house sits at the base of the Talkeetna Range where Government Peak watches stately over us, the Alaska Range surrounds areas to the east when I go into town. The Chugiak Range is just to our south, and more…..everywhere I go, I am blessed to “look unto the Hills”. The majesty, the power, the strength we have drawn from those mountains and hills ……and I KNOW from whence comes my Help.
So don’t forget to look the hills (or mountains!)…..look often……look long.
Care Tuk is a nationally known speaker, educator, and retreat/workshop leader. She has been a school, hospital, and home health occupational therapist for more than 30 years. She has been named as a Top Business Woman in America and recognized for her work with youth, disability outreach and awareness, and the American Cancer Society.