19 hours ago
I was on top of a mountain when summer blew away.
Even though last week brought freezing temperatures, soup on the stove, and snow in the higher elevations, deep down my soul was still tangled in summer and a little bit of denial. We had another hot and sun-drenched weekend, a mixture of dirt, sweat and sunscreen on skin, so I had no reason to admit we were at the end of a season.
I woke up Monday morning and the mountain called. I’ve learned this summer that when she speaks I’d better listen, so I filled up my pack and loaded Moqui into the car. I would connect a few peaks and ridgelines to make a new loop I hadn’t done before. About halfway through my morning adventure I was questioning my choice, watching scattered rain clouds move in and dance on top of my final destination. I ignored the sky’s warning and continued on, wind blowing me sideways and filling my jacket like a sail.
As I wound my way in and out of pine and up a rocky ridge, my last peak came into view. I stopped to reach for a quick snack and a gust sent me into the dirt. The mountain had spoken; it was time to turn around. I laughed at how awkward I must look to the trees who stand so sturdy and sure, waving my arms for balance and toddling along trying my best to stay upright.
I sat down to brace myself from the weather and took a moment for a proper goodbye to summer, realizing THIS is why I’d needed to come up this morning. I looked around; I finally saw it--summer had officially left the mountain. My eyes carried it deep down to my soul who acknowledged it too. The colors had faded, the last of the flowers were bent over into the dirt--laid to rest by last week’s snow. The sun was hidden behind storm clouds, it’s warmth carried away before it could reach me. The mountain was tired, ready for rest.
I felt cold tears on my cheek--mostly from the wind that stung my eyes, but I know there was emotion mixed in too--a farewell to early mornings of greeting the sun from up high. I watched them fall and hit the earth below where I sat, a few drops of myself left behind on the mountain as we move forward through the next seasons. I promised to be back when they thaw in the spring.