Through A Sea Of Ether

Turned forty-four this week on a day saturated in cold desert rains and snow, perfect weather for a trip into the mountains on foot. Began in darkness, stumbling over slick stones, past watching ocotillo and saguaro silhouettes, floating ice crystals melting into my headlamp. Petroglyphs and abandoned mines waited for rediscovery in this place of molten minerals immobilized, volcanic ash, uplift and shallow sea remains. Moving into dawn, encased in spherical luminescence, observed by animals imagined upon hills and within burrows, heartbeat pounding steadily, thoughts drifted and dissipated as the elevation gained and the newly frosted sun rose in opalescence, illuminating a land of vapor and earth. Headlight off and stowed, shrink-wrapped in rain gear, a peak broke the gauze veil and a path appeared. From the west, columns of storms relentlessly made their way into the new day, engulfing hills and horizon, rising into encompassing space. Oscillating valid rain and liquid snow blew vertically, beating a staccato counterpoint to the rhythm of my heart. Lost in conception while crossing a narrow ridge, the summit became a destination, an island of stone in a sea of ether, somewhere between now and then, not quite real but fully being in a traveling sky filled with galloping ghosts and transitive rain dragons calling. I had ascended fully into clouds and it was a good time to live or die. Paparazzi lightning flashes prickled thin skin, encasing bones and blood, whispering winds howled sweetly and the moment to continue on further arrived. Descending from this place of clouds like a waterlogged Moses, I melted into the drizzling desert again, head full of thoughts and nothing, stepping photometrically forward into the mystery of what would be.