I’m looking back through photos from my summer in Stehekin, photos I took and then forgot about. Amazing how these were just a few of the thousand beautiful things I saw. Beauty that just exists and is ours to go and have, if we want. This kind of beauty fills you up, from your toenails to the tips of your sun-burnt ears. It becomes a part of your subconscious and is in you, on long mournful commutes through urban-sprawl wastelands. An image filed away behind your eyes.
The memory of that blazingly hot hike in July. Eight miles up and four thousand feet gained, through dusty wildflower gardens all aflame in the sun. Then down, dripping in sweat and knees in agony, to that sapphire lake, perfectly ice cold. I dove in and screamed. I was sore for a week after. And now I feel full, still, of that feeling at the top, when suddenly I climbed that last peak and a sea of snow-capped peaks unfolded around me. I stood in a swarm of lady bugs and moths and bees, gasping and squinting and sweating, surrounded.