Heigh ho from a stormy evening back from the first official “sister’s adventure”.
Joy and I hijacked the family suv and headed for the high, green hills. Back, as far back as a dreamy-eyed me could manage, into the mountains we drove, through perilous passes and river valleys that I had never known were within our reach. We stayed at a rambling cabin in an old, ghosty mining town, hiked red slopes with wild roses, listened to Middle Earth music through the greenest valleys and a book on tape through the high plains. Our itinerary included a tea house, an alpine slide, a B&B, and a family-run orchard on the western slopes of the Colorado mountains.
Joy and I are eleven years apart; I like this. It means there’s too much of a stretch in our ages for either of us to much care about competition; our worlds are quite distinct. But that makes it a rare boon when we have a stretch of time to our own two selves. I find that I have a best friend, a whimsical, quirk, gypsy kindred spirit in this golden haired, brown-eyed sister that I have loved since the night of her birth (I was there!). This is our first official expedition just the two of us. And these were the scenes I won’t quickly forget:
A world of butterflies.
“Go wander,” said the farmer, his eyes as bright with sympathy as ours were bright with pleading. So we did. The gypsy chant of a river was in our brains, the red energy of fresh picked cherries in our veins, and it seemed an awful sorrow to get back in the car when there was sun still dripping through the cottonwoods and hours of driving before us. Wrapping vines of moonflower round our wrists for the sake of enchantment, tucking clover behind our ears, we trod the beaten brown of oft-used road down deep into the valley. Peach trees, newly green and shy within their leaves nodded as we traipsed the narrow path and then… stopped. A lane of earth, laced by slender streams of water curved between the little trees. Unwitting, we stepped forward with tiptoe steps and then were stopped in shock and wonder by a sudden cloud of pearls. ‘Twas a mist of wings, a host of tiny butterflies that grew, glinting now with gold, with every forward step we took. We held out our hands and felt the brush of velvet, and then held them higher as seven lordly swallowtails joined the throng with their ebony and sapphire. For the length of a field we walked in a flitting world of butterflies and sun and soft, wet earth. I think we both would have liked to stay… perhaps forever.
Joy – the mistress of Imagination.
There was something about the little mining village where we stayed that piqued our curiosity. Old paths leading to abrupt ends in the river, mysterious paintings, a mountain trail twining up amidst gigantic red boulders with strange white markings on their slopes. Joy had an entire mystery begun by the time we left in the cool, bright morning. And as we sped our merry way through passes and forests and sudden valleys, she scratched away at a haunting tale in her brown leather journal. By the time we reached the last rush down the mountains, she had her play outlined and the characters set. We turned on our Middle Earth music to the most haunting, storm and shadow song, and she read me the tale of Brella and Caden, and their quest through the fell, enchanted mountains. To the west, a storm was brewing in navy, and the wind shoved our car nearer the old pines. Her eyes widened and she looked up, and there were worlds pooling in her sight. Ah, my Joy.
The presence that bides in mountains.
There is a wordless force of thought that thrums out from the heart of earth when it has grown up into pale, pure sky. It has a voice; soundless, fierce, that slips through the doors of my thought and takes the mastery of my sight. In mountains my eyes are no longer my own; entranced, I am forced to stare, to meet the gaze of cold stone peaks, to brave the awful glance of hills whose eyes are green and swift, so lit by a reckless, joyous light that I am cowed by their sidelong sight. Joy, as we drove the gypsy’s ribbon of a peak today, turned and said, her brown eyes solemn ‘neath her freckles, “do you know, the reason anything is beautiful is because it echoes whatever thought God was thinking when He made it.” And then I knew that the mountains have their mastery over me through the soul of their Maker, the soul that still inhabits every atom of their bulk, staring out in the points of brooding pines, in the hard grey slant of rock and the lilt of summer valleys.
A jaunt to be loved and remembered and brooded on a little more when I have time. For now, I give you all a hearty goodnight. We made it home! The news I posted about last time is in the maybe, maybe not stage, so I’ll let you know as soon as I know myself. And believe me, I hope its soon!