We had not intended to head to the top of the mountain, but there we were, venturing toward the summit on an almost sunny day. At first, I wondered what impact the pockets of hazy fog would have. How far would we be able to see? Was it worth the trip? Then I thought, if not now, when? According to all accounts, tomorrow would be raining and the day after we would be leaving.
Despite the unknown degree of visibility, we decided to make a go of it. The ride to the top held both anticipation and peace. We started out very chatty, but quieted down some as we approached the tree line and rose above it. The fresh air and sense of freedom that often accompany the feeling of “being on top of the world” in wide-open space, whether on the ground below or high above, were abundant. Both permeated the mountaintop and seemed to be with us as well as all who chose to rise to the top that day.
Once there it was stunning. Looking out across the mountain’s peak, through the hazy spots it seemed almost like a dream as I took in all that was around and far away. There were people here and there traversing along the bedrock, taking heed of the signs seeking to preserve and protect all that might be fragile in this shared ecosystem. Toward the far reaches of the bedrock, there were a series of cliffs and beyond the edge, the ocean and a number of islands.
After soaking in all that was offered, or so I thought, we took the pathway back. It was then, when least expected, from one side of the path to the other and back again, we saw a yellow and black butterfly fluttering along, joyfully…hope filled my heart went along with it. As it landed, I watched and smiled. It was icing on the cake. All that we had seen, so wonderfully made.
It was quite a mountaintop experience. While it was both exhilarating and joy-filled it was also peaceful and upon further reflection it was once again all these things as well as sobering. With the uncertainty with which the journey was embarked upon now a distant memory, it became clear that the place in which we were standing held many gifts, even on a hazy day.
Life, whether at the top of a mountain, at the bottom, or somewhere in between (and regardless of the weather) has so much to give, when we are open to receive.