These Mountains

I never considered myself to be an outdoorsy kind of person, but this place has changed me for the better.

I’m sitting in an Adirondack chair on my deck, splintered from pelting snowstorms all winter. It’s the middle of July, but a crisp October-like air has raised the hair on my arms. 

***

These mountains sleep like bears during winter. The only sound I hear is the skis. They snore, gliding along the ice. Everything else is quiet. Green moss and wildflowers hibernate beneath the white blanket of snow, which muffles conversations along the trails.

***

The dogs are both resting at my feet. My family is sleeping inside – a modest space of brick and mortar for skiing. I didn’t notice what amazing things lingered beneath the snow when we purchased it.

In the summer, the mountains wake to play.

I hold coffee between my palms, watching the steam dance against the morning light that creeps between the trees. I breathe in the nutty aroma and wait for it to cool. Branches whisper to each other as the creek meanders along the limestone bed beneath it. Shadows shrink as the sun ascends from behind the trees, reflecting light off the gravel. In the distance, trucks ramble along the switchbacks only passing through, never stopping. They don’t know what they’re missing. Neither did I.

Up close, the mountains are a mix of greenery and jutting rocks. If you look between the trees, you see the green carpet that covers the ground and maybe even the occasional animal darting back and forth. But from a distance, the mountains look like turquoise ocean waves when sunlight strikes them. Closer ones are more vibrant and the ones farther back and closer to the sun are washed in light.

Any minute, Husband will clank his cup against the counter, then splash a bit of creamer in and pour his coffee. Kids will forage for food in the pantry, knocking over boxes and rustling wrappers. Dogs will click their toenails merrily against the floor. Toaster will pop. Cartoons will sing.

There is an unexpected energy that ebbs and flows between the hills and valleys: one that reveals what’s truly important.

There is no rush to go to dance practice or work or the grocery store. No pushing or shoving or arguing over toys. No frustration. No stress. We are disconnected, yet connected to each other and to something higher. 

Photo courtesy of Stocksnap.io

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30 thoughts on “These Mountains

  1. What an idyllic life it must be up in the mountains!
    Loved the imagery..I could feel the crisp mountain air and see them standing there majestically. I could hear the kids watching cartoon and the dogs walking all around the house, sniffing here and there.
    Really loved your post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your descriptions are so vivid – they make me want to be there too! I love the mountains myself (being an Adirondack hiking, wilderness loving Vermonter!) so this spoke to my soul.

    A tiny critique. You open the piece telling us that it is summer. Then you switch to describing what it’s like in winter. Then back to summer. It made me a little confused. I think if you simply switched the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs it may have flowed more clearly.

    I loved this in all its beautiful imagery.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve captured the quiet time before the family rises very nicely. We need the quiet to appreciate the chaos later. As for concrit, the mountains sleeping line ends in a cliche. I was hoping that sentence would compare the setting to your sleeping family. Overall, though, this is a tight little essay.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve written a beautiful picture of the changing seasons where you live. Re concrit there were a few things that I found myself wondering about. Like gravel reflecting light? Maybe you have quartz gravel but I haven’t seen gravel reflecting light. I know the scraping noise that skis make and I’m not sure snoring works (for me). And the clanking cup. To me, it’s metal that makes that noise. But I also felt that more often than not, you used really strong verbs that were the perfect choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This piece brought a measure of quiet to a very hectic time of year. It made me think about finding moments to slow down and appreciate what’s around me. I too found the jumps between seasons to be a little distracting. Maybe it was a wintery picture and a summertime opener? I was also thrown by the line about the splintered Adirondack chair. Something about the phrasing or punctuation, but it took a second read to understand that it was the chair that was splintered and not you ( thank goodness!).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This made me want to go to the mountains immediately–just drop everything, get in the car, and find someplace with a view to sit and read. The grids are heavy with death lately, and I appreciate that this was different, lighter. I don’t want to pile on the concrit train, because I feel like everyone else gave you some things to think about. Glad to read your work again and hope you’ll keep it coming! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This made me so envious of you. It sounds so peaceful and beautiful there! I loved that you took your time showing this perfect little piece of heaven. The only concrit I have is the breaks. I’m not sure you actually needed them. Lovely piece, D! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful imagery. It made me want to find my own little slice of heaven up in those beautiful mountains you’ve described. And I don’t even ski! I think you could drop the first line and just jump into your descriptions. Also, I kind of hesitated with the splintering too. I wasn’t sure if it was your chair or your deck. I hope to see you here more often. You have a wonderful writing voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. If I didn’t hate the cold so much, you might have almost convinced me. 🙂 vivid descriptions. A hiccup or two with the time jump. I did love: They snore, gliding along the ice. That sounds like hard crusty ice snow? Amiright? I like the contrast of the white quiet and the polychromatic noise of family.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I could feel the calm in the early part of the essay and was jolted back to life by the family waking up. Morning quiet is the best time and I love when someone captures it as well as you have here.

    Liked by 1 person

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