While in the hospital I came across the following in the book Mountain Climbers by Malky Feig. (This is NOT a book on the Rockies, but a well-written book by an orthodox Jewish writer, recording stories of people who have had special challenges in their lives.):
"Up there, where the mountain gets steep, there is something clear and invigorating about the air. There is something quiet and elevated that one doesn't always get to hear in the din below.
And that something is the whispered connection between oneself and one's purpose, between oneself and one's Creator."
This analogy rang very true for me when I was in the hospital with Ricki. You see, I KNOW the mountains. I have been* to the top of Longs Peak (altitude 14,259 feet or 4,346 meters), the highest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, from where one can see out of Colorado state. Last summer I climbed a much lower Peak, the Western side of "Twin Sisters" (altitude 11,413 feet or 3,479 m). And the view even from there was tremendous. You can see the hustle and bustle of the traffic on roads below, but the sound from below has dissipated, and you only hear up there the pure sound of wind--- and perhaps the noise from a ground squirrel or a marmot. [And you should get a friendly "How're doing?" from other hikers on the path, fellow humans who understand your attraction to these high slopes, while much of the remainder of the population would rather spent their "day off" in front of a computer.]
Indeed, the experiences I wondered at in awe as a child had a definite effect on my soul, being a major contributing factor in my realization that there is a G-d.
And, too, I am familiar with that feeling of being a bit detached from normal existence whenever Ricki has been seriously ill. And one comes to see life differently.
But now I am home, craving a bit of normalcy, but I am struggling to reach that. Ricki, being ill and in discomfort has become terribly dependent on me, and eager to get attention (even if it be negative) from the crack of dawn until about 9 PM. Somehow, here in the house, surrounded by the tasks of everyday living, the concepts of life's challenges bring me closer to my creator are a bit harder for me to become enthused about.
*not recently, but as a kid….
[image: The view from Twin Sisters' slopes....]