Monday, October 3, 2011

In Which the Splendor of a Mountain Vista Inspires a Lofty Query

(based on the true adventures of Bob and Rachelle in the Rockies)
The sun warmed our faces as we rose above the tree line. Here, the cold air stung, and our lungs needed more with each step. Our boots crunched rock. A marmot popped his brown head above a boulder, spotted two hikers, and disappeared again. The silence on this mountain was not the same as any silence below. It was hushed, reverent, as if every created thing was holding its breath. Not one wished to disturb the near perfect vision they were revealing to us.

Jagged peaks proudly stood above, draped here and there with smooth glacier snow. Alpine flowers in shades of glory dotted the tundra. Their bobbing heads told us we could reach our destination. Their tender strength filled us with hope. The sky was our sapphire backdrop, its one white cloud within arm's reach. A great eagle soared through this bejeweled atmosphere, daring us to defy gravity along with him.

"We are almost there," we said to each other. We said this often, not because we knew it, but because we wanted to believe. Our vision now became narrow out of necessity. We were fixed on feet and hands, finding our way safely across changeable terrain. The weight of our backpacks taunted us, testing our resolve. The muscles of our legs cried out for rest. One more step. And another.

Just one more now.


We made it. A dark emerald pool lay still and cold, hidden from all in the world but the two who had dared to find it. The small lake nestled between parental peaks that faithfully guarded such a treasure. Stepping to the edge of the silent water revealed a depth of color. Darkest emerald lightened and blurred at its edges, becoming cerulean. Here was a ribbon of amethyst. And there, a streak of iridescent orange sapphire.

Turning around to face the way we had come broke our vision open wide. We were suddenly two specks on top of a world that lay completely below us. Tiny green pines dotted the slopes back down to earth. But here we were in heaven. Neighboring mountains sent silent greeting from far off lands, so it seemed. I smiled at my partner in this spectacular adventure. He had been my faithful leader toward this lofty height, and I valued what he might say. He looked at me with an intensity I recognized. His eyes searched the depths of my soul for an answer to the question he had in that moment.

"Are your ears popping?"

 "No," I answered softly, "but I sure need to pee."

1 comment:

  1. the heart of the matter (humour) on the mountain tops

    This would make the marmots laugh.


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