Mountains on the Horizon ~ BitterSweetLife

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Mountains on the Horizon

On Monday I'll be driving to the Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, Colorado, and camping in the shadow of Long's Peak - the objective of a long-anticipated summit attempt. I'll have more to say about this, possibly before I leave, and if not then, definitely when I return. To set the tone for upcoming Mountain posts, I present to you this piece from last summer.


Mountain Haunting


Mountains, these ones anyway, make me happy and alive and sad. I feel slightly drawn out and pulled away from myself. Maybe it’s the mist, mocking my 20/20 vision, maybe it’s my relative size as I inch up the side of the megalith—but I am strangely objective. I’m looking back at myself, the various smaller versions, each with his visions and aspirations.

Everything seems beautiful and painfully imperfect, and I include the mountains in that statement. Swirling clouds swallowed up my anticipated Long’s Peak vista all week. I was within miles of the haunting man-killer and never got off a snapshot. The unseen dwarfed me.

I feel time and wind winding by, and I almost wish I was a child again, but that’s beside the point. More related is this: I feel God nearby in the silent sentinels of trees and sky and, of course, mountains. Distant, hazy with ozone, green and blue, mist-covered, mysterious.

I want to meet God soon, and then I realize that I will, that 60-some years will be soon. I will live quickly. And then this perplexing amalgamation of wishes and nostalgia, aches and endorphins, faith and hope, will be resolved.

All will be seen, and all seen will be well—everything I wish, everything I touch, everything I become—all shiningly well.


The trees and rocks, heavens and mountains, are portentously silent. The sky changes constantly, pines sway and toss—it rained twice today—but nature strikes me as being dormant. They are all waiting.

I eye certain dusty stones, wondering what wild deeds they will accomplish when their king comes back. The clouds are wheeling watchfully. As for me, for now, I will live quickly.

…and he was the best fighter because his life was flying by and he could not be bothered to slow down for mere battles…

Some hope for a quick death. I hope for quick life (not a “short” one), after which mountains (or anything else) will not seem so painfully beautiful and brightly strange. I’ll no longer speculate about things which once seemed wondrous or of which I once envisioned—I’ll simply know. When truth surrounds you, the wondrous is underfoot and in hand, and you no longer need to puzzle out the years and ask your name.

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Ched said...

Wow, I resonate with the emotion and feeling evoked by the imagery of this post. After a long day of waiting tables, reading this was cathartic. Sublime.

Ariel said...

Thanks, Ched. A long day of waiting tables resonates with me...summer jobs are killer. A vision of approaching glory at the end of the day makes all the difference.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife