Civil twilight came like an announcement this morning, the waning crescent moon hanging in perfect balance above the horizon. I pull over just before Eatonville to welcome the day. The lot I pull into is familar, if not a little junky, but the morning is putting on a show and I have a front row seat.
I’ve been noticing that my eyes aren’t what they used to be. My windshield catches all the glare and I’m squinting as I drive through Ashford. If I’m telling the truth, after my last pair of glasses broke, I dragged out an old pair and my eyes have adjusted. Well, not really. But when the crisp focus falls away you are left with a new clarity. I know, I know … bad idea, but it’s cheaper than new glasses. Waaay cheaper.
Pulling into the lot at Paradise there are just a handful of cars ahead of me. I consider my snowshoes but ultimately decide to leave them in the car. Microspikes are possibly the best invention ever. I grab my pack and poles and I’m off.
Bluebird skies. It feels like a reward to be here, but I know better. It’s more like grace. The slopes of the mountain are Zen gardens in the snow. Everything points to movement here, but all around is still. Bended trees, animal tracks sealed in ice on the path, the hills raked in deliberate strokes. And yet the stillness is profound.
I took my notebook up the mountain today hoping to somehow seal this deep blue sky into memory: the way it frames the mountain. The way every other color pops against it. Black slate. Red rock. Blue ice. Linen white. Evergreen. They’re all there.
A Canada jay flew down, walked across the snow and stood a foot away just watching me. I miss my camera so much. Maybe it’s for the best that I had that glorious moment of looking into eyes of such a sweet bird.
I still miss my camera.
I tell myself this isn’t a day to be spoiled by thinking of greed and dismissiveness. That story is coming soon. THIS is a day to strengthen my reserves, deepen my committment and grow my appreciation. THIS is a day to remember what makes me happy. What I love. Who I am.
And oh, I AM remembering …