Today's photograph is from Mt. Hood, Oregon where I recently visited Youngest Son and - are you ready?
Calm down now.
Not that kind of high.
|Mt. Hood from Lake Trillium|
I spotted another trail leading off into the woods and decided to explore. YS, ever hopeful, stayed on the shore. The trail was wide and cushioned with pine needles, greenery all around, some already glowing red and gold.
After parallelling the lake for a bit, it turned away from shore, heading steeply upward.
I think I may be descended from forest-dwelling gnomes as walking in the woods always blisses me out. My earliest memory of anything similar was the haggard behind my granny's house. I remember, as a little girl, collecting kipeens (little sticks) for kindling among those trees with her.
The woods at Cratloe were another favourite childhood haunt. I loved it so much we got married in the tiny chapel there. The Little Blister still goes there to run (in the woods, not the chapel) She claims it feels more like church to her than church.
Our California Girl lives in Redwood country, the silence in those ancient groves so hushed and reverent the loudest sound is that of a pine needle drifting to earth.
And where YS lives are more woods with more plush, piney carpet underfoot and a cathedral-like hush.
Zig zagging my way upwards I became aware of a humming sound. Traffic? Impossible. Then I realized it was the sound of my ears preparing to explode.
At each new bend I told myself 'Just to this bend, then, if there's an amazing view, I'll turn back.' Kind of like reading a good book where you keep turning just one more page. I wasn't yet high enough for the amazing views, just more trees, crowding in on all sides, more steep trail ahead and air that was thinner by the minute. On I went, up and up. No strolling now. When I heard the sound of pounding I stopped again to listen. It was only my heart.
Upwards and onwards, totally focused, huffing and puffing, just being there, on the trail, no worries, no past, no future, just now, the path before me, the trees all around.
An hour into my hike, just when I thought I might actually reach the summit, my cell phone buzzed. It was reality.com. "Where are you?" a peevish voice asked. He's ready to leave, fishless, dispirited, and I'm an hour above him. If only I had wings I could jump off the trail's edge and land beside him in a matter of seconds.
I gaze longingly at the next bend in the trail. Who knows what heights I might reach if left to myself ? But common sense (I do have a little), and the YS persuade me to turn around
We could leave the aggravations of the world below. Family and friends would be welcome to visit as long as they were willing to climb and leave their 'devices' at home. But, come to think of it, the latter might be a deal breaker for the OC. Hmm. Some compromises might be necessary.
Meanwhile my phone is buzzing again. I walk faster, surprised at the mountain-goat nimbleness of my knees, down down down, snapping quick photos of a flower here or a leaf there, almost falling face first into a soggy ditch in my eagerness.
The world down below forgotten, this is my reality for now.
High as a kite on firs and ferns and fantasy.