A few days ago, my husband and I took a hike to a place we had not visited in over thirty years. After a long, bumpy ride on a dirt forest service road we found the trailhead, parked, threw on an extra layer and began the climb to the top. Along the way we remarked on how beautiful the valleys looked, filled with the autumn yellow color of the western larch. When we got to the summit, the ribbons of gold stretched as far as we could see –into Montana and Canada. Truly spectacular.
We tried to take a selfie to replicate a photo taken of us there over thirty-seven years ago. However, our cold fingers fumbled in our attempt to do so, the arctic-like wind whipping our hair out of our caps as the cold crept into the tiny openings in our jackets, sending chills down our spines. After ten tries we gave up and later laughed when we peered into the phone photo gallery: half-faces, no heads, out of focus, too close.
We hiked down off the rocks and found a little crevice away from the gusts; a tiny spot with just enough room to sit on our haunches and drink sips of hot tea from our thermos along with a few mouthfuls of peanuts, chocolate, and dried apricots; not feeling too much different from the first time on that mountain top.
On the way back, we didn’t talk much, too engrossed in the beauty of the day. The saying “we only pass this way but once” kept popping into my head. I never thought it would have taken over thirty years to return to this incredible place. But it did. We agreed to come back next year and the year after and the year after that. But who knows what will happen between now and then? In the meantime, I quietly promised myself to absolutely enjoy the passage of time. Today. Now.
How did you find solace this week?
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