i cry when i first see them. i cry when they are disappearing. those mountains. my last long look at them as we drive east out of colorado. those billboards and tshirts and bumper stickers that say, “the mountains are calling and i must go” speak to me. they have ever since i was 18 and first experienced them. john denver’s rocky mountains have been a lure for decades now. and i can feel the pull, even from a distance.
if you look past the horizon in this photograph you will see what i last saw as we drove away a few days ago. you won’t know that tears came to my eyes or that i turned in my seat to watch the vista fading away at 70mph. we didn’t even get into the mountains this trip and i could still feel my heart stretching, reaching to hold on.
they are in the distance now. so much so that i cannot see them.
but i carry those mountains with me and know we will one day, again, be there. i will catch my breath when they loom suddenly into view. we will drive deeper into them, surrounded by forest and canyons and soaring beauty. we will hike on adventures and we will sit and gaze in wonder. and then, when it is time to leave, i will crane my neck and watch them disappear. into the distance. no dry eyes here.