The Steamed Mountains…
It isn’t the most imaginative name. Certainly not for a place of such great natural beauty. The grass is a shockingly sharp shade of green. There is nothing to compare its vibrancy to. No paint color. No object. It is its own special green. No one and nothing else owned it. The lake is glacier blue, yet its temperature stays at a consistent 76 degrees.
Then, there are the mountains.
The Steamed Mountains…Such a pathetic, small minded name for such majesty and mystery.
The mountains tower over the valley in uneven peaks and ridges, in smoke-concealed ledges. It is a commonly held belief that the mountains have different air than the rest of the valley, a different atmosphere. It’s often been said that if you could cross to the other side of the mountains, you would attain all of the world’s wisdom. You would become like God.
Yet, something about the mountains keeps even the bravest person cowed. It’s an unspoken thing that those mountains were not to be approached except for the deepest need. For, though the other side of the mountain could grant all of the world’s wisdom, it could also bring death. It could lead to insanity.
Yet, here I am at the foot of the mountains.
The mist swirls around my feet as if it’s waiting for the right moment to trip me up.
I look up at the forbidding mountain. It’s so much taller than me, so much older and wicked than I could ever become. It would be easy and natural and understandable to back out and run back to my home.
But I think about my father lying in bed. So weak. So helpless. The Acadian whipflower lives in the heart of the mountain. It will cure my father and strengthen him.
It would be so easy to give up before I can even start.
But my father is good.
My father has shown his love and concern for me in 10,000 different ways over the years. And I know that if our roles were reversed, he wouldn’t question it.
He would climb any mountain for me.
He would face any danger.
Any possibility of madness.
He would save me.
And I know.
I can’t turn back now.
I readjust my backpack.
And I climb the mountain.