Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sweet Mountain Barry

Two years ago while at home on a vacation my neighbor Laura Goldfarb came over to introduce her brother, Barry. We talked, played horseshoes, looked at photos, and drank moonshine all within a few hours of meeting each other. It didn’t take us long to realize that we were brewing up a beautiful friendship. The head backcountry ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, Barry offered his house and knowledge of the area should I ever find myself out west. A year later I gladly took him up on his offer after leaving the ranch in 2008.

This year, I made sure to set aside ample time to return and explore deeper, more secluded sections of the park. A fellow ranch employee, Hannah Dillard was brave enough to come along and meet the man and wilderness I had bragged about all summer.

Describing Barry is an undertaking I don’t dare attempt with my own words. Instead, I’m going to share a sermon he gave Hannah and me while having wine and cheese at one of his favorite spots in the park.

Placing a tiny pebble in the grooves of our palms he stood back with a proud grin and said “Canis Majoris is the largest known entity in the universe. It would take 7 quadrillion earths to fill its volume. I want you to think about that size, try to imagine the immensity of such a thing. Now, here’s my sermon. #1: The grain of rock in your hand, that’s Earth. #2: The thing that you’re standing on is Canis Majoris. #3: God loves you.”

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