(This is a second response to my location challenge, because I needed to do a cheerful one, too)
A surge of eager welcoming washes over me as I reach the peak. This is a place I love, and it makes me happy to be here again. And the thought that I get to show it to Garrett makes me even happier.
But there's another feeling in my heart as I throw a glance over my shoulder. I nearly walked straight into a bear about 200 yards back. As brave as I was in the moment, now I'm worried that it's going to sneak up behind me and corner me on this peak. And for a few brief seconds, the fear blocks the beauty of the peak from my view. Funny how fear does that.
But it is beautiful up here. On either side of me, tower two huge rocks that are each probably almost half as big around as my house and are at least as tall if not taller. Between them is a third ledge that I can climb down to. I run my hand over the stone like greeting an old friend.
Energy bounds inside me, and I start my scramble up the stone on the right. I always do this one first. Garrett follows. The rocks up here are more of a brown and pink and cream color -- not gray. I like them.
Disappointment fills me when I reach the top of the rock and realize that the view is completely masked. The fog that wrapped the forest in soft tendrils has created a solid wall of white around the rock. If I look straight down over the edge, I can see the tops of the trees so far below me. But nothing else. Sigh. I love the fog but I wanted to share the awesome view with Garrett. And now I can't. There's nothing to see but the mineralize rock and the remnants of people's scrawls on them. "Ashton was here." Who cares?
(Garrett has his own plans for the peak, fog or no fog, and the wall of white doesn't slow him down. This is when he proposes to me and I say yes and all that mushy gushy stuff. But this isn't a post about the proposal -- it's supposed to be a practice run for describing a location. So I'll skip ahead to the part after I said yes.)
Suddenly the fog parts. Right down the middle. I am not kidding. The wall of white separates directly in front of us, half moving off to the left and the other half moving off to the right. Light started to filter down through the clouds in long, brilliant, ethereal beams. And suddenly we could see the valley below us, stretching out for miles. The forest and winding road of the national park, and, beyond that, the little farms of the valley making a quaint checkerboard of homesteading across the rolling hills. Far in the distance we could see the next mountain range...Garrett said it was thirty miles away.
And it was beautiful.
High up around us, the fog had broken into bits, caught swirling in a wind current that curled and teased around us. It was one of those moments so perfect that you could hardly believe it was real. And I hoped that the glimpse of grandeur through the fog was like a brief allegorical glimpse into the beauty that my life would be in the future.
Because the mountain-top is a great starting place for your new life.