A hunger gnaws at me as the winding road inches me to my destination. My patience is rewarded as the landscape unfolds like the pages of a child’s pop-up book into something rugged and wild.
The numbing repetition of big box stores and gas stations fades away as the small jutting, striated rocky ledges and mounds soon swell into the muscles and bones of the San Juan mountains in Southwest Colorado. Mountains that rise above me like a protective mother.
Tucked in along the gentle slope of her majestic skirt that spreads along the still water, I look up. Searching. Reminded of a simple, yet profound, truth about nature, life, and myself. All we have is the now. The moment at hand. These mountains generously offer me what I didn’t even realize I was looking for before now. A permission to slow down and take a deep breath. Truly listen to what my mind has to say.
A hush embraces me as I wander along the dirt path at the base of the rocky range stacked with towering cedars and aspens. The silence broken only by the click of my camera. The cool blue of the sky presses on me, rooting me to the earth. Wisps of clouds thread through the treetops.
I do not question the sensation that I am somehow at the intersection of the past, present, and future. A flash in time. Illumination. Seeing with my heart, as well as my eyes, what is before me. A joyous focus. I embrace it and mold myself to this new feeling of wonder combined with mindfulness. A rush of gratitude and completeness sweeps over me. The sense of a connection to something much bigger than myself grows with each step into this pristine wilderness. Here in this chapel without walls.