The Magic Ampitheater

On a recent vacation we camped for five nights in Onion Valley in the Eastern Sierra, a vertical mile above the Owens Valley. From the campground, three basins rise below 13,000 foot peaks. It’s a special place of spiritual power, whatever trail you travel or whatever viewpoint you visit.   One basin rises steeply to Robinson Lake, surrounded on three sides by massive cliffs and pinnacles. Viewed from the opposite slopes, this basin and the peaks around it have an almost physical feeling of power and strength. They call to me. The place seems magical.

In the mountains is a magic amphitheater from which a magic stream flows. When you have walked here and tasted its fresh waters you will never be the same. The mountains above will pour their power into your soul. The stream will pour its freshness into your life, to be there whenever you need it.   The trees, limbs swept by winter winds, stand straight and tall and strong—they will breathe their strength and resilience into you. Green grass and bright flowers proclaim the force and abundance of life, which will enliven you.

Your own magic amphitheater could be nearly anywhere—in your local hills, in streamside vegetation, in a meditative break in your daily life.   Discover your own magic amphitheater, or let it find you. And you will have its gifts forever.

Now I do not really believe in magic. The “magic”  is really the gifts given to each of us—both in nature and in our own beings. Each of us already has within us this power, resilience, freshness and force of life which we can sense in the mountains, the hills, along a streamside, or simply in quiet contemplation. God has made each of us part of this wide, wonderful, powerful world-—what a blessing!

These qualities, along with God’s presence, reside in each of us always. They are there to draw on at any time.   For myself, getting out in nature helps me to sense directly and remember this reality, and then to live it.

What is your “magic” place?


About David McCoard

After earning my MS in geology I've done various things including managing the ski touring program at a small lodge in the Sierra. In 2010 I retired from Contra Costa College in California. I've always been fascinated by the mountains and nature and have spent countless days hiking, backpacking, climbing and skiing in the Sierra. The spiritual insights I've learned there have set the course for my life. Now I have time to share them and strike up a conversation.
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