|Sunset over Magdalena, July 2011|
How swiftly glide thy days along
Adown the current of the years,
Above the rocks of grief and tears!
'Tis wealth enough of joy for me
In summer time to simply be.
-"In Summer Time," Paul Laurence Dunbar
The Magdalena Mountains are open again for hiking thanks to a few good soaking rains over the past two weeks, and now I really feel like it's summer. Of course I can hike any time of the year, but ascending a thousand or more feet into a mountain forest makes for a wonderful retreat from summer heat. It's also a great vantage for capturing a sunset; tonight's made me think of a scene in some old religious movie when the sun breaks through the clouds and angels sing and the Voice of God bellows out The Truth. I have been missing "my" mountain hikes a lot, perhaps because as the first anniversary of my mom's passing approaches I feel growing anxiety and reawakening of those lost feelings I had during the weeks before and the months since her death. I spent a lot of time in these mountains last summer and fall, finding much solace in the cool air, the exquisite beauty, and the absorbing rigors of hiking. This evening, I felt that same peace flow through me as I pushed myself up a steep rocky grade with a friend and now with two canine hiking buddies... and when I saw this sunset, I guess I did have my own inner "Hallelujah" moment. Summer returns. Joy returns. Song returns.