Updated: Nov 20, 2022
My Beloved and I sitting and standing at a threshold that kept us for the duration of a long distance thru-hike with the wilderness this summer. Upon arriving to this threshold, the sun curved behind the ridge in the west and the mountainous enclosure is casting summer shadows in the valley at 9,000’. One thing we learned on the trail was that this is a very vulnerable time—a lot of exposure—to below freezing temperatures, to the wildlife whose home kept us through the days and nights, to dramatic changes in weather, water access, and to the dark. We reach for our warm layers and begin to dress—saying yes to live in the midst of the beauty, while remaining loyal to our promise to return. Adjacent to us is Lake Creek—a tributary feeding the Arkansas River. I can feel the steady pulse of the current throbbing beneath the hard-packed soil and granite that forms the creek’s passage into the base of my spine—with a rhythm of flow beginning to intensify. It is just before midnight; yet, we have been immersed in timelessness for almost a month. We bow our bodies to Earth expressing gratitude and reverence to wild Earth for keeping us and accompanying us for 21 days. Our hands are interwoven with love and warmth, encircled by thresholds of stone, river, coyote, mystery, and touched by the wild fecund of nature’s grace. We stand together at the edge of the threshold, saying yes to carrying the gifts of intimacy that we received and awakened with the wild and one another in this new year of sacred union. Our yes is accompanied by moon—in their fullness—arcing over the 14,000’ range in the Collegiate Wilderness, revealing their illuminating presence. A doorway appears. We enter—awakening with the myst of living with so much beauty together and carrying and living it into the world and sharing it.
Reflections into Thresholds of Living in the Midst of So Much Beauty*
The wind sings the pines,
and my body responds with delicate whispers
While the morning light cascades across the valley.
Moon, still arriving, reflects the symphony of renewal.
Beloved’s hands interwoven with stone.
And a sky painted silhouette of the mystery.
Has it always been like this?
A great mystery, a paradox?
The physical flesh of Earth is all around you now.
Inviting you into the doorway
“a fierce and primal yes!” (Brezny, cited in Johnson, 2022, 25:34)
Johnson, R. (2022). Week 2 - Reconsidering Social Change. [Video]. Canvas@CIIS.
*Williams, T. T. (2013). When women were birds: Fifty four variations on voice. Picador.