Monday, February 14, 2011

The Butte

Sunday morning began foggy and morose here, and I felt somewhat the same way, after dealing with a defunct water heater all weekend.  I had cancelled my plans to climb the butte, but last minute I decided a good burn would clear my head.

And I was reminded that no matter how many times I hike the same trail, it's always a new trail.  There were different faces coming the other way, new dogs to greet, water flowing in new places, and plants volunteering all over the hillsides.  There were even some brilliant yellow crocuses, bravely breaking into the Februaruy warmth, barely and inch tall.  Old friends were there, too.  My favorite old-growth Douglas Fir, the one that is larger in diameter than my two outstretched arms, and the tall, spindly Madrone high on the butte's north side.

The hike turned into one of those magical walks in which you start out under clouds, walk up into a fog bank and then top out looking down at clouds beneath your feet.  Kevin and I used to call these hikes "cloud walks," and they've always made me feel like I'm far from my troubles, in a primordial world.  I took photos of a cloud bank gradually filling the valley on the east slope, then rising above the summit and disapating in the brittle sunlight.

Back in town, the very pleasant surprise was that I felt very much more able to connect with friends after my cloud walk.

I don't why that surprises me anymore.  It's been happening for 35 years.

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