Knowing he was asking for much more than just a jaunt across a couple of states, a climb to the summit and back down again, nevertheless she answered immediately,
And so began a friendship, a life long friendship.
Their first trip to the mountains was disastrous! Their world views clashed dramatically and each was determined to define and defend their positions. This first trip was also sweet and playful and tender. It was a defining moment in time.
Once you climb the mountain, tedious, exhausting, laborious, nearly impossible though it may be, the view from the top is magnificent. One’s perspective is permanently altered. The ascent and descent alone – the challenge of it and the accomplishment – give one a feeling of pride and confidence. Nothing will ever be the same.
And the surprises along the way - chance encounters with others, the angle of the sun’s rays through pine trees, the coolness of a breeze on hot skin, a lake tucked between high peaks and invisible from below, cold water from glacial melts, bird song, elk grazing in a pristine meadow, a ranch hand sized dinner for famished bodies, the twinkle of millions of stars in an indigo sky, moon rise above snow capped peaks - all this and more leaves one full and hungry for still more.
Over the years the two friends took many more trips to the mountains that he loved and to the waters that called to her. The obstacles they encountered were as varied as they were numerous. And the overcoming took each of the friends to depths they never imagined existed, let alone were possible to reach. Sometimes they needed solitude and went their separate ways. When they came together again, they brought insights more often than excuses; forgiveness more often than blame; and promises understood though sometimes unspoken.
And so continues a friendship. It seems there is no ending in sight. That is until one of the friends leaves this earth experience. And then, who knows. There will be more mountains to explore, more lakes to sit beside and dream.
“Will you go with me to the mountains?”
O O O