In late slanting light I saw the Sisters two days ago. Triune and illuminated, their western aspects excited me enough to ride partway up the ridge on whose shoulder I now stand. The vision wasn’t repeated that afternoon, but perhaps it is what stirred me this morning as I lay warm, long before this fine red dawn. Or perhaps it was something greater than just a vision.Something shook me off the couch and out of the age of sail. Earlier than I’d been thinking to leave, I was ready. Out the door and into the age of internal combustion, propelling me higher than cranks and gears brought me 38 hours back. At trail head, the eastern fringe was already red. Clear there, just as it had been on Tuesday.
Now, the three are silhouetted below a canopy of stratus, with glowing yellows and reds behind them. My two companions have quieted their games of Chase and Ring Around the Biped in favor of a slow, quiet stalk between my legs by the strong-eyed one. Ive come up the steep southern slope, like some long-ago, strong-willed nephew. Perhaps that has made me pause, winded. Perhaps its the excitement of the vision before me. Maybe something greater.
I can see the plumes from the fiber plants near home. Farther on from the paper or can making in Halsey. Is the one due south from Brand S? or OS? No matter.
I think of those plumes as the largest object in view. Then I remember the mountains. How does one measure a mountain? Where, at the bottom, does it stop? Where at the sides? Is forgotten Adams the largest in the Cascades? Surely the cloud canopy is larger still. But perhaps not an object. No matter.
As I move along to the top, the dogs resume their runningmoving at least as constantly as my mind. The still, low sun projects shadows above the Sisters on the canopy that now grazes their tops. As ambient Light grows, snow shows on their flanks. Triune still, they fade, seeming to diminish a bit.
The dogs keep playing. Somehow my descent on the gradual path takes longer than the steep way up. Ever a sucker for a red-haired half Celt, I allow the strong-eyed one more freedom and more treats than shes earned.
Am I Thankful this morning? For the plumes that mark employed neighbors? For the mountains shape? For the canopy under which I walk? That is more pleasant than walking within it. For the companions on whose excuse I walk? Or for the understood connection that lets me appreciate them all? This is what undergirds us all and gives no bottom line for my restless minds demarcation between.