In the middle of the Sacramento Valley — Mountains

Sutter Buttes: photo from Wikipedia

Good Day, God!

While my brother, Dave, was driving me back to the Sacramento airport, he pointed out “The Worlds’ Shortest Mountain Range” — the Sutter Buttes.

They were way off in the distance and there wasn’t time (or inclination) for a drive-by. But, I was taken with the idea that there was a ten mile long mountain range in the middle of the huge and FLAT Sacramento Valley. The valley is so flat that before California built the massive flood control and aqueduct system, the annual snow melt from the Sierras turned the central valleys into an inland sea.

I was really curious, God, about how the Sutter Buttes got there. A quick check on Google showed that is was the product of volcanic action 1.6-1.4 million years ago. 200,000 years of volcanic activity — ten miles of buttes that are up to 5,000 feet high — and then nothing more?

The stopping is almost as surprising at the starting. And, it is tickling something inside me. Do I also have unexpected volcanos in my life?

Well, yes. Our daughter Patty’s illness and death from cancer would be analogous to an unexpected volcano in a very flat land. And, I suspect, God, that most of us have events that come suddenly and traumatically into our lives.

The indigenous peoples of early California made the mountains part of their Creation Stories. Events like unexpected mountain ranges or unexpected illnesses do cry out for explanations, God.

Ah, yes. We humans seem designed to look for Explanations. And if not explanations then at least ways to integrate them into our Meaning Maps. I guess, God, my Map factors in randomness. Volcanos happen. Illnesses happen. And maybe they both have parts to play in Creation Stories — Geologic and Individual.

Thank You, God, for creating us!

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Story teller,

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