Yesterday Ranger Rick and I took the part of our "day off" we could actually get, and guarding it closely, drove straight to the top of Mt. Ashland with it. Once there, we turned it loose, along with ourselves and the dogs, and had an unexpectedly delightful time wandering through the tall trees and late summer wildflowers.
From the ski area you can drive up even higher, to "the top", and from there you can go on foot to the Very Top, where you can see Mt. Shasta in one direction, and Mt. McLoughlin in another. Don't ask me what directions exactly. I don't know, and have never really cared much about north, south, east, west. The three mountains form a beautiful triangle of volcanic power. From my perch on Mt. Ashland I stretched my arms out wide toward the other two peaks, and imagined that there was someone standing on each of the other mountains doing the same thing. In my mind we "held hands", connecting the three, and I came away feeling full and fearless and powerful as a mountain.
Unlike the type of "high" most of us modern westerners go for, a visit to a mountain top can sustain a person for a long, long time. But if you're a city dweller, and can't get to a mountain, go to the top of a tall building. It works too. Just go up there and be with the birds and the clouds, and turn the city noise into the rumble of a waterfall in the distance. I think you'll like it. I really do.
This weekend, as we celebrate our national obsession with overworking ourselves, I urge you to leave your labors behind, and just get high. When you come back down, I'll bet you see everything, even the work differently. Sometimes you have to get above it all to see it clearly. Well done. Back to work. But don't over-do it.