Glacier Park is a brutal landscape. The force required to scrape out those canyons through solid rock almost can’t be imagined. But there it is. Raw power. Changing the shape of the planet. Extending the scale of things.
In my imagination, I try to see all this sedimentary rock being compressed under a vast ocean, as it was for millions of years. I am more than 6600 feet up. I can’t do it. My mind won’t bend that far.
This is the dimension of the formation of planets, of stars bursting and galaxies being formed. On this scale, I am beyond microscopic. From this dimension, I am just an idea.
Wildfires have draped a veil of smoke over the Northwest. Going-to-the-Sun Highway has become Going-to-the-Haze Highway. Fortunately, I did find some sun, but the sky was never the deep blue one looks for up here. Shit happens. These random factors – fire, floods and earthquakes – force Nature to adapt. Evolution depends on it.
And there’s water everywhere. Walls along the highway appear to be weeping. Falling down the mountain, water chatters and gurgles down the path of least resistance, pulling life to the path it wears away. Friendly. But it was mile-wide glaciers that carved out the valleys for the lakes at either end of Going-to-the-Sun road, across continental divide.
It was frozen water that tore off the sides of some of these mountains, exposing millions of years of history. On earth, water eventually wins.
In an odd way, I feel like I belong out here. I am a part of something larger. I don’t feel that way in the city. The contours of the city, the concrete and steel, don’t flow through my senses like life up here does. Here my mind flows. In the city, my mind gets bashed, from one corner to the next.
There is a time for mind-bashing. One has to take care of business. But out here is where we belong … in a landscape that calls to the minerals in our bodies … where every breath feels precious and every day is different.