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Cold Mountain, Warm Heart

March 7, 2010


Rising moon over the 3 sisters. Idaho

A month ago, my husband and I were hunkered down after a 6 hour snow shoe extravaganza.  We didn’t bring our boards, the day was more about scouting out future terrain.  It was maybe 5 degrees outside our toasty Idaho house.  I was writing and Tim was pouring over the topographic map.  It is our routine.  Outside endeavor, private time in our thoughts, dinner and then a movie.  It was my turn to pick from our little library.  We don’t have TV there yet.   

I looked up from my laptop just in time to see the full moon rising over the Three Sisters.  By the time Tim got the camera out of the pack, the moon was already threatening to sneak behind the wispy clouds.  He raced out there without a jacket and laid down on the frozen deck to steady his hand for the long exposure he would need.   Good thing he has a lot of body fat!  Joke… Tim’s lean frame is a legendary fact.  

Cold Mountain stood out from all the other DVDs.  As we watched it, I wondered how cold it could really be at that elevation.  You could call me a high elevation snob.  It is such a wonder how life constantly provides the opportunity to set things right.  I am in North Carolina right now.  My mother had open heart surgery, so here I am in the Blue Ridge mountains.  Asheville to be specific.  As my plane approached, I saw leafless trees covering the snow kissed countryside, dark lakes in liquid form and the sight reinforced my thoughts.  The lakes weren’t even frozen, how cold could it be?   

When I stepped outside the airport, the icy blast showed me a thing or two.  I thought of Cold Mountain and a newfound respect and sadness for the soldiers who fought here in the winter during the civil war swept through me like the cold wind itself.   Don’t judge a mountain by its elevation.  It got me thinking about how many times I probably have judged other people by my preconceptions.  What judgements do I make based simply on ideas that I think are logical conclusions?  As I jogged by the French Broad River last night, the ground both frozen and soft in places, the people bundled up and walking their dogs or wearing much less and getting a work out like me, I reveled in the variety of humanity and our habitats and made a promise to myself to open my mind whenever possible.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 9, 2010 11:06 pm

    How do we compare pain? How do we commiserate battle wounds and scars? How do you gauge the difficulty of your life? At some point, does the journey for enlightenment as a human being simply end, or is it a continuous quest? Throughout all of our lives, we have our own “Cold Mountain”, some to be conquered, climbed, others to be pondered, hoepfully learning from all. I want to say that we have one uphill battle and then when we reach the top we have the divine clarity, the true understanding, but who is it to say that it is just one, not a series of many tests life gives us? And is it necesary and even comprehendable to human beings to understand what is divine and therefore beyond our human mind? We can look at every challenge as that, a challenge, and meet it with determination, or maybe find ways to evade it. But one thing is that the mountain will never just pick itself up and move out of your way, maybe you navigate it, tracking the pathways of the ones before you and leaving trails for the ones sure to follow after you. That life is an adventure and to keep your eyes and heart open for the everyday divine.

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