Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Of High Places

What captures me most times I venture into the mountains is a sense of life-sweetened. It seems counter-intuitive in a place bereft of plentiful things that low-land valleys often are flushed with. The bountiful water, rich soil, and calmer weather. I think life that makes a fighting go of it has a lush, vibrant glow that can't be matched by softer living. It doesn't have the heart a starved plant has after a long winter, in the first glows of spring, after a gentle rain bids high places farewell.


It is one thing to see the mountains
To go there and be among them
It is quite another thing to be there
And never leave them

It is as if life struck a bargain
To be there
As if weaknesses were swallowed
By the land
Where creatures big and small
And plants wild and free
Had become stronger for it

More viral
Less pompous
More rich
Less modest

And in cold-chilled air
A breath of freshness cannot be fouled
By wasted conversation

Life is not pampered
Every beat of every second
Fingers that rake out a living
That may be sundered this very moment

Night is cold
Day is warm
Summer is short
Winter brings storm

Spring and fall
Like a tipping scale
Of life and death, death and life
Where at any moment it may fail

And yet when brought among these
(The man that visits)
He is swept up in the beauty
Of high places
And cannot think of leaving
Not even consider it

But he must

Not so for beast and plant
on mountain pass
edge of cliff
toe of glacier
shore of tarn
summit of peak

They will always be here
And never leave...