Healing on a windswept mountain leads to crisp, clear discoveries about what it means to be spiritual.

This past winter, I went on a snowshoe hike with my husband and father-in-law in the White River National Forest in the midst of the Rocky Mountains. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining bright amid crisp air and vistas so beautiful, words cannot describe. As we hiked up the first three-and-a-half miles reaching just below 12,000 feet elevation, I held on to my excitement for what was to come. As we reached the high point of the elevation gain, the views grew to include mountain after mountain, and I was inspired.

I often backpack and hike with my husband throughout the year and always find myself looking forward to the peacefulness I find in our wondrous outdoors, growing with each step. As we approached our destination, crossing a treeless and expansive blanket of untouched snow, the wind kicked up. At this point I found the nip of the cold getting the best of me. As we reached our destination and I sat there taking in our surroundings, I was grateful for my father-in-law's generosity in letting me use his down coat. I snuggled in, admiring the expansive views all around.

A little while had gone by and we suddenly realized time had passed faster than we'd thought. We knew we'd better get moving back down the mountain in order to make it back to the car before dark. I stood up, with my snowshoes still on, and realized that while I was concentrating on keeping my hands and face warm, I'd neglected to adequately protect my feet. I'd sat still and let them get cold without realizing it until I needed to stand up and begin the hike back down the mountain. At that point, I felt fear creep in like those earlier gusts of wind. I thought about our limited time and the lack of warmth and circulation in my feet.

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Protection for asylum seekers
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