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Mountain Light

29 August 2012 | Category: Stories | Author: Clare

I came around the corner at the bridge tonight on my way home, tired and spent, but I slowed down and finally stopped on the road.

I have seen the mountains on the north and east side of the valley around Donald countless times, so it is hard to believe they can still stop me in my tracks.

But stop me they did.

As the sun goes down the light invariably touches Red Indian, or Red Burn, the mountain I stare at from the windows of the cabin. I never can remember the name of that left-over tectonic plate.

But it is amazing how the variety of different lights thrown at it from a dying sun can change the facade, and character of the mountain so significantly.

Sometimes it is so red in the evening, it takes your breath away. And not because it is so innately beautiful, but because it makes the mountain look so savage; impenetrable and unforgiving.

Like a throwback from Utah or the desert, but without the rounded, weathered topography to temper the angry red. Rocks, and cliffs, and angles and edges, stark and intimidating.

There are times when it is as if a theatre, or stage spot-light has been turned toward it. The soft, warm, yellow light gently climbing up the side of the mountain until only the peak is untouched. the dark shadows, and craggy ridge the only reminder that the beautiful eclairage is a lie; the song of a siren. Coaxing your interest and trust, but not able to hide the ultimate treachery of the mountain above.

Tonight it was like a chapter from a fantasy novel.

A powder purple light that belongs to the world of fiction, the mountain stood there, almost beckoning; it's voice quieted only by the wisps of narrow cloud, hanging like the threads of a spider web.

The grey tendrils illuminated pink on the underside, with streaks of yellow light on the fringes of the higher clouds.

The moon almost mythological, a soft white, full bodied but ill defined, rising through the kind of deep cobalt sky that follows a beautiful day; half eclipsed by the cumulus but unabashed in its steady climb to the open sky.

I sat staring at a fairytale.

By the time I got to the cabin, the moment had passed.

I stood on the deck and admired the moon, as the night came down and swallowed the mountain.

I am not sure what to do with beauty. Except embrace it when it exists, relish it, and try simply to stand there, and not get lost in an effort to capture an image in my mind.

It seems to me, that when we try to trap something beautiful to look at it later, we ruin it forever.

The only thing that is left alive is the hope that one day it will return; and that is exhausting.

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