Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mt Hood

This is the view of Mount Hood I have on my way to work in the morning. I always think of Mount Hood as sort of the perfect mountain. It's pointy, craggy, snow-covered...there's the shadowed crevices... On mornings where the weather conditions are right, the mountain seems to break through the clouds, untouched and perfect above them. The view is even perfect. In front of me is a long and winding river that seems to go on forever, until I look up and there is Mount Hood. Some mornings--most mornings!--I drive past while the sun is still rising behind the mountain and Mount Hood stands in stark relief, a dark shadow precisely outlined against the early morning sky.

Mornings when I can see Mount Hood, when it's not raining too much or too cloudy or too hazy, seem just a little better, and a little lighter, and a little smoother. They remind me of how much around us is awe-inspiring if we just take the time to notice..

Note that it is also the mountain where rescuers are currently searching for two lost climbers. They would be searching for three, but the third had dislocated his shoulder in the ascent and his compadres left him in a snowcave and went to seek help--and then vanished. He was found dead on Monday.

This has not been a good month to be lost in snow in Oregon.

I wish I could say that this tempers my love for the mountain. It feels callous to the hikers that every time I see Mount Hood I still feel that chord in my center that vibrates out through my extremeties with an almost audible thrum. But there the mountain sits, above any tragic outcomes--not quite unconnected, but still, somehow, untouched.

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