Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Idaho ≈ Heaven? An Inquiry.

According to the godweb, "There are at least four major strands of thought in the Bible and in Christian tradition contributing to contemporary notions of heaven," the four strands being: heaven is the sky, paradise, eternal life, or the kingdom of God.

Idaho has big skies and is paradisaical. I would be happy to spend an eternity near the Snake River. Idaho is arguably God's own country, and I don't mean the Republican god, either.

According to Wikipedia, "The term [heaven] is used to refer to a plane of existence (sometimes held to exist in our own universe) in religions and spiritual philosophies, typically described as the holiest possible place."

Idaho, or more specifically, Island Park, or more specifically even than that, the family cabin, is clearly a plane of existence we can designate as a holy place. Okay, the holiest possible place, I am willing to go that far.

In a class I took at BYU, we read Mircea Eliade's The Sacred and the Profane, which talked about the idea of religions having a sacred place, a world-navel, the original place. Island Park is, for me, that place. From the chapter called "Sacred Space: Making the World Sacred":

(click on it to make it bigger)

I am pretty sure I have seen a burning bush or a water equivalent of it up here, around sunset.

In other news: it can be a challenge to figure out what kind of food to buy for a short trip. We always stop at Dave's Jubilee Market in Ashton for this and that and snacks and soda and a watermelon, and always end up buying plenty more stuff (M&Ms, pistachios, Doritos, Coke, blueberries, rice). The dilemma is this: on the one hand, you want variety, but on the other hand you do not want to have to schlep too much of store-bought cookies home, nor do you want to take home the food you brought all the way from home, such as garlic scapes, beet greens, oak leaf lettuce, and spinach, because bringing food in the car is already stressful to the food, and taking it back home is cruel and unusual punishment.

Nonetheless, the historian and I had a delightful cabin dinner of brought-from-home potatoes mashed with sauteed garlic scapes, a hunk of cambazola cheese, a little butter and some whole organic milk (since we're at the cabin, fat doesn't really count--it's the altitude! and the air! we'll sleep better!). Also, broccoli, and tomatoes with a little olive oil-basil-pecorino garnish. Also, toasted pain au levain bread. Also, store-bought cookies for dessert. It was heavenly. Ergo, Idaho ≈ heaven. Or, if you like, heaven aspires to the condition of Idaho.


  1. So wishing I was there.

    Love the cabin.

  2. Hear hear. Enjoy your weekend up there.

    "phxfh" - the sound I'm making because I can't go this weekend, too.

  3. Yes. Idaho is the new goal. I will meet you at the snake!

  4. My friend Becky had a cabin in Island Park. Spectacular country. Your post is a deserving tribute to an amazing place.

    And wow do I ever love your new header. SO COOL!!!

  5. I am in Idaho, but I am not sure it is heaven. My Idaho, however, means staying with the in-laws, which may have not been the best idea shortly after one's wedding. My just-completed backpacking trip in the Cascades, though, that could be heaven.

  6. So it is not too buggy? MB and I are contemplating a trip to Idaho that is cheaper than a trip elsewhere. Maybe Island Park, maybe??? who knows. But I agree, that Idaho can be heaven, if one knows where to go.

  7. It's interesting to hear people's specific traditions surrounding the cabin visit. We all love it for different reasons, but we all love it for everything it has to offer us: personally, and as a whole family unit.

    (keep crossing your fingers)

  8. I clicked the link to Godweb (I had to look, I didn't realise he had his own site). There is an add for a browser game with the tag line 'Let's Fight'. I know strictly this is nothing to do with the overall theme of your post, but someone in Godweb needs to pick the adds better.


  9. Ashton, huh? Try the back way through Teton and Newdale. Then you are truly in God's country. A great back drive up to Ashton, by the way.



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