I’ve been listening this week to a couple books on my drives to the mountain. There is a sweet spot when it comes to choosing something that feels matched to my mood. I’m not sad or angry, but I’m not exuberant either. Maybe I could call it melancholy.
Sometimes I like to listen to stories that will never be my stories. Climbing snowy peaks in places I’ll never see with people I’ll never know. But sometimes, I want something more true and authentic. I want to know that struggle and suffering are beautiful in their own way too. This week I chose Raymond Carver and Rickie Lee Jones.
I visited Mount Rainier twice this week. Both sides of this stunning place can be as different as night and day depending on where you stand. And being where I stand is important. Occupy the space you occupy.
I’ll take you backwards and begin with yesterday’s adventure. My 3:45 AM alarm probably seems crazy, but I haven’t been sleeping well, so an excuse to rise isn’t the burden you might think. I’m out the door at 4:15 AM. The destination this morning is Reflection Lake near Paradise.
It wasn’t until my last turn that the fiery sky appeared. I often rise early and I’ve seen a lot of sunrises but this one took my breath away. It didn’t last long but in those minutes before sunrise it was like walking into fire.
I lingered a little as the alpenglow softly settled on Her Majesty. It’s like walking onto a postcard in these moments.
I thought I would drive around the mountain to the Sunrise side via Stevens Canyon until I got my first glimpse of the fall colors beginning down the steep walls. While Sunrise seems to go from flowers to snow, Paradise lingers on fall. I pulled over and took it in before deciding to go with another plan for the day. Paradise Glacier. Pivot.
Here is my morning in pictures …
If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know that I recently lost my soulmate-of-a-cat to cancer. His story is in my previous post here and I’d love for you to know him. We let Gus go Saturday and Sunday morning I headed out as my new reality was about to sink in.
Here is that morning story in pictures …
In a testament to my clearest personal growth I will say that although I’ll never stop looking for metaphor or miracle, I have stopped expecting them. If they are meant to lay themselves across my path I need only pay attention.
This visual stopped me dead in my tracks. Miracle, metaphor, message .. do you see him there ? His scrunched up happy face, his blue eyes, a halo ? Do you see it ?
These days and these miracles of light and atmosphere at Mount Rainier are my love story ♡
“Where do I begin
To tell the story of how great a love can be
The sweet love story that is older than the sea
The simple truth about the love she brings to me
Where do I start …
How long does it last
Can love be measured by the hours in a day
I have no answers now but this much I can say
I know I’ll need her ’till the stars all burn away
And she’ll be there …”
-Carl Sigman/Francis Lai
(From Love Story)