Picture yourself on the summit of a high mountain in the Sierras. The view in every direction goes for hundreds of miles. To the south is Mt. Lyell and Mt. Ansel Adams, the east Mt. Dana and Mt. Conness, and about 3,000' below the tips of your toes lies Tenaya Lake. You have arrived at the 11,200' peak of Mt. Hoffman.
Years ago, when Dino was just a teen, we made the ascent to this glorious place and sopped up the most spectacular views and emotional highs in all of Yosemite. Mt. Hoffman is the geographic center of God's summer home, Yosemite National Park, and that day remains instantly accessable to me. During the climb, we found ourselves momentarily surrounded by a storm (the black rolling thunderheads were actually below us, encircling the mountain) and we took refuge in a small outcropping of rocks. Normally, one would never climb during nasty weather, but that morning began as a blue-sky day and we were three quarters of the way up the mountain.
The storm passed and we made it to the summit around noon, each of us silent, in awe, captivated completely by something we'd never before experienced. I quietly, almost respectfully, pulled a walkman from my pack and passed the headphones for each to take a breathless listen and fully complete the panorama - the Largo movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony.
I felt compelled to speak, "Someday, when one of you is facing a crisis of some sort or just a terribly stressful day, wherever you may be, whether in a high-rise or by the ocean, remember this moment. No matter what may happen to you, this place, this picture will always be here just as you see it now."
Let's visualize this for Dean. The view of a thousand miles, snow-capped peaks, a swirling gentle wind. That view is God. As you inhale, you feel millions of fresh energy cells fill your body, stimulating your senses like the dawn of a blue-sky morning. Breathing out, you watch the shriveling cancer cascade down the rocks, breaking into pieces and ultimately turning to fine dust. Inhale the good, exhale the bad. Do this whenever you think of Dean.