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Sabbath Day – The Spiral Railway

June 14, 2018

Sabbath Day: My Weekly Check-In with Myself, My God, and the World Around me

I got up and out of the house early this morning to venture across the Hudson River to The Farm at Stony Point Center. Will Summers had invited me to be a part of the faith in farming podcast which he and Amirah AbuLughod produce about the joy they share in working the farm. Since Amirah had gone to Palestine last fall to participate in the olive harvest, and I have just returned from cycling and hiking in the West Bank and Galilee, the idea was for Amirah and I to simply share stories and experiences of the land with one another.

This is my first ever podcast, and I’m not sure I made much sense. I know I could’ve said everything I said better, and there are stories I should have told instead of the ones I did. But it was a lot of fun having a pre-breakfast chat with Amirah about the complexities of traveling in this land so often called ‘holy’ where the land itself is struggled over and suffers like a child in an ugly divorce. 

[imagine here a selfie which we never took of Amirah and I
chatting and laughing in the quiet of the
Center and Library for Social Justice at Stony Point]

After breakfast with Sarah, Will, and Leland, I travelled four miles north to the trailhead of the Dunderberg Spiral Railway. This was intended to be a novel tourist site with small cars pulled up the mountain by a stationary steam engine at the top and then allowed to coast down the mountain along switchbacks, much like a slow roller coaster. It never happened, though the grading provides for sections of relatively easy climbing and the remnants of tunnels intended for the project are impressive. Still, this is a strenuous seven-mile climb to the summits of both Bald Mountain and Dunderberg Mountain. The views of The River, as far south as Manhattan and north through the Highlands, are breathtaking. 

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Climbing Dunderberg, with Bald Mountain now behind me

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Baer Mountain State Park – August and I camped here last year

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Looking North over Iona, toward Bear Mountain,
the Bear Mountain Bridge, and Anthony’s Nose

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Finally, the collect for midday prayer on Thursdays in the new Book of Common Worship is addressed to the “Great God of light,” whose ‘love is new every morning’ and who ‘all day long is working good in the world.’ I am now companioned by this prayer on my Sabbath Days. Hiking the ridge along Dunderberg Mountain, this is what I found EVERYWHERE. I have posted a great video of the dance of light in these ferns, but the lively presence of light was at play everywhere.

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Happy Sababth

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