Monday, June 4, 2012

Sacrilegious Heights

I like to hike.  Mountains and I are old pals since I have spent the majority of my life in and around them.  I consider myself a pretty tough hiker.

Uh.  Excuse me while I readjust the ice pack over my sore legs.

Seven years in the flat South and suddenly I am a pudding cup.  Soft tissue is not my friend and it let me know that it was plenty upset.  Sunday, the glorious day of rest and worship, we took our boys and went for a hike.  The day was too sunny, too perfect, too fabulous to sit indoors and listen to a sermon.  I say that with a cringe because I don't think I have EVER skipped church for recreation.  As in... NEVER.  I think the last time I decided not to go to church was for something dramatic like puking my guts out with the flu.  That's what it takes for me not to attend and yet here I was, back pack full of lunch, a leaky canteen dripping water down my side and huffing it literally straight up the side of a mountain.  Why?

There is something ethereal about a mountain.  Pines put out thick sap that reminds me of expensive soap mixed with car fresheners (times ten in scent overkill), delicate plumes of dust kicking up underfoot, and the sheer magnitude of climbing something so enormous shoots a bolt of divine gratitude right through me.  I begin to notice things I never really paid attention to.  For example, butterflies are out in force this year.  Big yellow ones, medium black ones and flurries of tiny pale blue that seem to float instead of fly.  On closer inspection, we noticed that these delicate blues didn't congregate around flowers.  They clustered by the hundreds around poop.


A poop eating butterfly.  Hoo-kay.  I felt like Westley and Buttercup (Princess Bride) transversing through the fire-swamp.  Instead of the forewarning "pop-pop" before spurts of fire, we got a cloud of blue butterflies mushrooming under our noses preemptive to stepping on something undesirable.  Awesome.  After several near misses with cow and horse pies, I have a deep gratitude for the poo-eating butterflies.

Anyway, because it was so beautiful, I am posting a picture of the sabbath I got to take part of.

I think we were about 9000 feet above sea level.  In the center (can't see it too good) there is a waterfall going down the side of the mountain from snow melting. 


And next Sunday, I'll be in church (praying for forgiveness) like I always am.  But today, my legs are complaining that going from 5000 feet to 9000 feet was just plain mean.  Whiners.

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