Friday, September 21, 2012

One of Those Places....

You know how sometimes you have a special place? Somewhere you end up and just know when you're there, it's the one place on earth you should be at that moment? A place that provides you with memories and something to look forward to? Your mind clears. You are suspended in time. You soak it in because you understand it will be awhile until you return. I suspect most people have a place like this.

It's kind of difficult to describe to someone you feel about a certain place and why. I'm guessing this is because what makes it 'that place' is a unique combination of experiences that are yours alone: a portion of earth that has the uncanny ability to evoke thoughts that relate to the big picture of the rest of your life. Your connection to it feels instinctive, visceral, emotional. It is peaceful. I will tell you that I have a few such places.

Last week we took some friends to Glacier National Park. On my birthday we drove the Going-To-The-Sun Highway to Logan Pass and hiked up to the Hidden Lake overlook......exactly where I wanted to be on that day. We marveled at this road carved out of a mountain side and some of the historical decisions that allowed it to be built....the brave men and women who built it and now, continually restore it. We pointed out ancient layers of stone pushed into jagged mountain peaks, Bird Woman Falls and glaciers that may not last much longer. We noticed the cheerful, historic fleet of red buses, gulped breathes of thin alpine air, and ate the traditional (well...our tradition , at least!) peanut butter and jam sandwiches at the top.

Three of them had never been here before and one, not since he was very young. Along the way, I realized, I was looking at familiar surroundings with different eyes. We had not yet driven the road in September. On the way up I noticed colors beginning to turn and a few leaves floating on the breezes. Rivers, streams and lakes were at their low points exposing rocks and sand and fallen trees I had never seen before. Brooks and waterfalls didn't rush with as much force and animation as they do during summer's snow melt; they tumbled, quietly and differently. Up top, mountain goats weren't as numerous, but you could still tell the youngsters from the mamas. End of the summer wildflowers were fading and going to seed, and the grasses and other ground cover changing to orange and gold and straw.

I was aware that I was seeing through different eyes for another reason. It struck me for a moment that I really wanted our friends to like this place, too. To see and understand why I love it so much that I return at least once a year. I allowed this thought to float around in my head, but only briefly and then I made it leave. We each own our individual experiences. The most I could ask for is that we were able to show them a good day. That we enjoyed the fact that they shared one of our favorite experiences with us.

I typically don't post photos of myself here on this blog, but since this was taken on my birthday, I thought it was an OK idea!

Wishing you a wonderful fall week ahead!

Warmly, Margaret


Anonymous said...

Hi Margaret,

Beautiful post, and so true. Your photos help us all understand the specialness of this place. Michele

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos, Margaret. I would love to go for a long run there! Debbie

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