It’s a hike. It’s gonna be a long haul. Weight of my pack on my shoulders and I’m not even halfway. Not even a quarter. Mountain lions patrol the perimeter of their turf. Smooth cats who know how to move stealthily. They’ve been sharpening their claws in anticipation of the kill. The have been sharpening their teeth. They are dangerous predators. They know this territory better than anyone, I realize. They are American Revolution militia. My heart thumps faster and harder, terrifying and warning my ribcage to give way or else. It’s gonna fly out like a fish pulled out of the ocean and moving and flapping and fluttering on the boat deck – Until suddenly it becomes stock still, but still breathing very quickly. It’s terrified because it can’t breathe.
Climbing up this mountain, oxygen levels deplete and at night the temperature plummets so I am breathing cold air and seeing it fogged and reflected back at me. I must be careful. Trails can only lead you so far. Some fateful solo trip might be the last one you ever take. But that crisp, cool, clean air is like a drug. Trickle down economics as the rainwater finds its way from a cave and out and down. Deer with its tan hide. Deep blue lake reflects like a sapphire in the moonlight. You can not bottle that up and take it home with you.
I draw triangles on the secret treasure map. Crayola crayons and Native American construction paper headress. Preschool. Imagination. It’s always changing, growing and expanding. As a little person, A modest hill can seem like a mountain. Chasing butterflies and moths. Sitting in the grass not being freaked out about bugs. Sea urchin in the bathtub. Muscles at peak efficiency. The view is crazy. It’s almost as if there are no people. The landscape from the top looks like it was painted by some antiquated artist I will never have the pleasure of knowing. Scraping by. All that’s left is the climb down. But that blueberry sky and white linen cloudscape – Green foliage – So high up you can see the shadows –