Treasures of Darkness in the Secret Places: Encountering the Divine in the Wild
“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” Isaiah 45:31
“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12
The dark path is strewn with shades of brown and ochre; fallen leaves sacrificed by trees overhead. The forest canopy blocks out rays of warmth. Boulders fallen upon each other line the rocky trail, pebbles in the hand of the Divine. A steep rock face, time etched in sandstone layers, rises straight out of the forest floor to one side of the dark path. A shock of color clings to the rocks; lush emerald moss and ferns cover rock and root. Deep forest mesmerizes, enchants with the sound of a bubbling brook nearby. Water slips over pebbles drifting autumn leaves to an unknown destination. An enormous boulder stands guard over the meandering path, blocking vision to what lies ahead.
Careful creeping over slippery stones, clutching crevices of layered rock to stay afoot. Nothing but darkness surrounds. Another step forward, then the cavern appears. Rays of sunlight stream down through a crescent opening cut into the rock above, filling the vast cave with golden warmth. Water falls over the edge of the nine story sandstone cliff into pools of cool beauty. Facing the falls isolated in solitude, a single boulder lay on the sandy floor, dwarfed by the towering walls surrounding it. An altar of praise standing alone in hushed silence in the wild. Heart rushes with a sense of the Divine Presence here; here in this secret place.
Photos from Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio