Last week we went for a long weekend to a part of Ecuador called Otavalo. It is a traditional town set in spectacular volcanic scenery. We first visited an extinct volcanic crater. It is huge. The land down in the crater is now farmed. Many people live there. There is a sign at the top which warns you to “descend if you dare!” The steep climb back out again is a challenge in the hot sun and altitude. It is the sheer magnitude of the crater that blows my mind. This volcano had some power to be able to blow off the top of a mountain several kilometres wide. It is amazing!
Next we visited the lake of Cuicocha. My five year old daughter remembered our visit there for the sweet pasties they sell in the café there (which were delicious.) I remembered the breath taking views across the 9 kilometre wide lake formed in a dormant volcanic crater. The volcano erupted in the year 500AD and this must have been with some force to blow such a gigantic hole in a mountain. On the boat ride across the lake we could see bubbles of gas still being emitted from the volcano. I could only hope the volcano intends to sleep for a long while yet.
It made me wonder at God´s power; He who created these astounding volcanoes. Day by day I often feel so powerless, so unable to change bad situations or frustrating circumstances. Yet the God that I pray to is omnipotent; completely able.
As we returned from our trip we stopped off at some ancient pyramids built by Ecuadorians who lived thousands of years ago. We tried to imagine what they had built them for and what their lives had been like. We saw the skeleton of one 35 year old woman whose bones have been preserved from that time long ago.
It added perspective to our brief lives now. Every day is so important to us, yet our time on this earth is so short in the scheme of things, and we do not know what the next day may bring.
I came home reminded once again to live each day to the full, believing that anything is possible.