Here is Jasper Mary telling how God spoke the mountains of Western Maine into being.
But in the beginning God spoke. There shall be Time, said God. Time and becoming. After and before. Pastpresentfuture, my riddle being Time. I will clothe Time with things—with particles, elements, creatures, events. Thought and emotion shall fill Time. In Time living things germinate, differentiate, grow. Time will expand and contract according to the movement, size, placement of its bodies and to the measure or interests of its occupying activities.
In Time things will fall and rise; minerals salts gases moisture; species and intelligence, dominions. All things cycle, cycling upward, drifting, falling. But light shall flow straight; yet here and there under certain conditions Time will see light bend. See it sneak around corners, shiver to colors, fall sleightly through cracks. Memory and light shall salt the darkness of Time, overtake Time, turning backward and forward. But light shall see Time bend: as great celestial bodies turn, gravity will work out the course of Time. In earth time will be humbled. Forced to creep, weigh and sigh, shudder and weep. But it will pursue with implacable persistence.
In Me Time shall stop altogether.
I let my spheres loose in Time to keep and change its measures. Let gravity layer these spheres; and in some come a layer of life. Earth has magnetosphere, our radiant veil of star-particles; a veil of gas beneath for the protection of Life. Within, we set the veil of our breath. All exchange breath with me in the veil.
But Earth’s pith is molten, full of the great power of melting… sulfurous, fulminating, inflamed. The great mantle above moves the crust about, thrusting up from below with tension and verve. Making mountains. Mantle crushes and cramps the earth, forcing edges under again, humbling, fusing and refusing the crust we call earth. Grinding, shaking with terrible violence, the continents heave and slide. Molten heads rise. Rounded, ballooning upward, these Plutons warp and compress the crust.
The energy of the command rises, shaking foundations. At our Word arise the plutons, ascending through layers and bearing unspeakable treasure. Monstrous with bending and folding, burning and pressure, the plutons form forth an array of gemstones, minerals, a catalog of Crystal: Chalcedony Jasper Agate and Beryl; tourmaline amethyst topaz and manifold quartz: there are myriad minerals here.
This! Say the Plutons, This our treasure and glory! This, our implacable power!
But these giants lay hidden inside the mountains, in warped, tilted or downturned layers of metamorphism and sediment; guarded and shielded in rock. And Jasper was one of these, a hidden giant, secure. Jasper Mountain patient in waiting.
But without… without move fast climatic currents. In the veil of Breath float a tumult, extremes of hot and cold; down falling, uprising vapors of moisture and air. Cyclic, these powers, whirling and twisting. Hot and cold blowing, drying and drenching, freezing and thawing; great Powers play over crustal surfaces, shaking these faces with Weathers.
Composing tiny crystals, water condensed around specks in the veil. Floating and falling they fill the bright veil; ecstatic innumerable; falling in lightness and blizzard. The Earth darkened, snow fell. Snow fell. Snow fell. Snowfall arched over mountains, sinking them under the burden of white. Ice and earth overlaid what was hidden but the grinding of glaciers wore their covering away.
Time wore, uncovering the hidden. Naked, the Meguntic Mountains emerged. Naked stood Jasper, crystalline and exposed. Bald in his beauty, he was polished and running with rain.
In his cracks seeds gathered, the gymnosperms dying then sprouting, stitching themselves together. Dark evergreen, their lacework gathered on the mighty flanks. They sifted their load of hard seeds. In Time came other plants, less hardy yet enduring on lower slopes, those whose seeds were wrapped in soft fruity ovaries. For the veil moderated to yield a Southern influence. Jasper’s great features were fringed and garlanded, softened and green. Leaves sprouted, swaying, glimmering.
From south and westward came many manner of animals insects worms spiders; birds, the fingers of which are filled with feathers. People came, having faces, arms and legs, torsos and hands and imaginings. They gathered hereabouts clustering, clinging together; or sprinkled themselves sparsely. The People lived beneath Jasper. In winter they hunted, sheltering families. In summer they climbed and ate Jasper’s blueberries. The People encouraged the berry’s seed for its sweet ripe blue fruit, burning patches to renew springing growth. Later came people of another kind to Jasper Mountain, climbing Jasper’s knees to set permanent dwellings. They falled his trees, building cabins. They gathered his rocks and turned earth that had collected in the feet of the gymnosperms. These people toiled and stored. Following a period of mutual stress, the two peoples dwelt together; but the first people were thrust to its margins. Yet, in Time, some of each came to share a common descent.
Above them all stood great Jasper Mountain, quiet for the most part, but not ever so. He might gather water from the veil in abundance, flooding them. He might bring snow. He brought aweful wind. Jasper collects storm. The Weather and Mountain colluded, holding their counsel in common. Sometimes they kept the water away.
Even so, over and around People of this great creation was the blessing of God in time. For God said, Let there be Time!
And the People answered, “Ever so! (Will it be ever so?)”
I took these pictures as we drove past on our way home from snowshoeing on Bryant’s Pond. The passage above is from God’s House In Winter, pictured on the sidebar.