Water the Mountains

blessed are the 1

When Jesus delivered some of his most famous teachings, he did so on a mountain. When God met Moses to deliver his law, God did so on a mountain. Jesus was transfigured on a mountain, his glory outshining all.

There is nothing sacred about mountains per se. They are symbols of permanence in scripture, associated with God's power, mystery and vision. Psalm 104:13 reminds us that as mighty as the mountains are, they too benefit from the provision of God:

"From your lofty abode you water the mountains..."

My dear on-line friend Blue Mountain Mama knows the beauty of mountains first-hand. She is mourning that this beauty is being eclipsed by mountaintop removal practices. And she is mourning that such practices are affecting not only the mountains but also the streams and the valleys and ultimately the life that has gained its sustenance in these places.

No, there is nothing sacred about mountains per se. Which is perhaps why some have purposed to remove them without guilt. But I would suggest that we judge this practice by the Psalm where we hear that God waters the mountains. The Psalm goes on, "the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work." Yes, we might consider whether this practice is satisfying the earth with its fruit.

Blue Mountain Mama is mourning about the fruit of mountaintop removal. The clogged streams, the toxic flow of elements. Again, I revisit Psalm 104, which says, "When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground." And I ask myself, does this practice renew the ground? Does it allow creation to flourish?

If you have a little time and are willing, check Blue's recent post and this site on Mountaintop Removal. Consider sending forth a part of yourself, to create and renew the face of the ground that Blue and her community must live with, want to live with for years to come.


Nameless Creek's No More High Places Forever

Sermon on the Mount illustration & Photo by L.L. Barkat.

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Blogger bluemountainmama said...

thanks so much, l.l.

fortunately, this hasn't quite spread to our particular mountains, but its just down the road from us....and we're downstream. but there is a proposed one in our county.... so far they haven't been able to get the right permits.

again..... thanks SO much for helping spread the word..... it's just a matter of time before it crosses into our county.

4:37 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

My heart goes out to your neighboring mountain community. But also to anyone like you who lives downstream. One of the most important books for me has been Living Downstream, which truly helps us see that we live in an ecological world which is intimately connected and which affects us intimately even if we don't put our toes straight into the origin of an environmental problem. The world really is smaller than we think. And so are we.

6:13 PM  
Blogger bluemountainmama said...

a pertinent essay by wendell berry that i thought you might be interested in reading: http://dev.ilovemountains.org/cost_of_coal/86

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Armand Rousso said...

It is a very good post concerning how the top influence the people living downstream. It can be associated with the richer people who don't care about polluting the downstairs.

Armand Rousso

2:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the previous post said, it is a picture of the great companies polluting the world. Why don't they turn eco-friendly.

2:53 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Armand... welcome to Green Inventions. A very good analogy, the upstairs downstairs! Of course this is shortsighted. What goes down eventually goes back up in some form or another.

Anonymous... welcome. Have you read Cradle to Cradle? These guys are on a mission to help business see the feasibility and economy of being eco-friendly. Very inspiring, though perhaps a slow journey for our tastes. Also, please, feel free to leave your name and a URL if you have one inside your comment... I really enjoy knowing to whom I speak.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Sandy Carlson said...

Interesting. I think it's all sacred. I think of mountains as metaphors for our journey to get to the most sacred center of all being. Beautiful artwork, wonderful post. Thanks.

9:12 AM  

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