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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

Mountains of Love

Every February for the past few years, my daughter and I have gone to Big Sur for a few days. We stay at a nice place and just unplug. It is something I cherish, despite the fact that I have to admit that often, I sit in the adults only hot tub wishing I was there with a guy instead of her. Sad but true.

I see that this part of me isn’t really capable of enjoying anything but her way. It wants to rob me of my current life for this fictitious one that only exists in my mind. There will come a day when I will long for a time to break away with her. And I will regret every moment of the time I got to spend with her, wasting it on things that were not happening at the time.

Every year I make us hike all the way to the top of this mountain. It is large and it takes a lot of time. It is hard work. She kind of hates me for it. Half way up I kind of hate me for it also. But every year we do it as some sort of pilgrimage to a mother/daughter connection that exists only on the crest of this vaulted earth. We take the trail to the apex and lie in the sunny grass that blows in the wind. We eat lunch and gaze upward at the sky. We do yoga in the grass and listen to music. I sometimes read and often write. Sometimes ideas for future blog posts, sometimes poetry. The hours at the top feel like minutes. We are just there, me and her. Living our best life there under the beckoning sky, pinned to the tall earth below.

For me, I feel the vastness of life. How much I really have, how much I have been given. I can feel my appreciation for it all in a new way, somewhat girded against the dystrophic thoughts that worm their way into my psyche in an effort to erode the contented abiding I feel in the moment. They come to push me onward and away from the nowness of this time, cat call me to another place in time where I do not exist with her.

I do not like the intrusion, but I can’t fight it either. It just comes and then it just goes as thoughts are want to do. If I cling to anything, I might miss soaking up one moment of glorious present time with her. I know the time is slipping out beneath me, every passing year she will grow farther from me to a place where she will be her own complete person, uninterested to a large degree in all I have to say and in what I think.

I do not know if we will go next month. I hope so, but a lot will depend on the virus. My son is here this year also, so I do not know if he will come with us, wholly changing the trip. Perhaps they will both choose to go visit their dad instead and I will go alone. Regardless, I feel compelled to go if I can. To run, not walk, to a place that enriches my soul and feeds me dirt, earth and sky. I never knew one could be so hungry for these things...but I am, evermore as I age. Time stands still when I walk the trail to the top. I become present, crystalline in my being. Clear like the stream that runs along the trail at the bottom. I can breathe. I can live without the incessant commentary of my mind. I am just there, with her, alive.

I wrote this last year. This year, I will do everything I can to go again, because when your soul calls you home, you must go...

I come to the mountain again

The pull hard and deep

It remains when I have left

Beckoning to its summit

Vistas promised and delivered

I see everything

I hear nothing

It is wonderful

Life meted out in footsteps instead of agendas, breathes instead of commitments.

I rise. I rise. I rise.

My mind less noisy with each footfall.

I am here. Now. With her.

Each year returning to the mountain to reconnect to us, to me, to where I came part land, one part sky.

The apex continues my upward ascent.

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