In this – I believe!
It was, of course, on one of those walks that I had the realization, that I really had started to believe in them, – referring to those daily, one hour walks, I had now been taking every evening, – since,.. well, since the day after Bob’s death, now three and a half months ago – First it was out of sheer despair and disbelief about his tragic leaving which had plunged me into a dark night; – Bob had taken his own life, -at a time when I had been considering doing something of the same nature. – Then, – I guess, I also started to hike to just get away from everything mundane and just so grotesquely unimportant, in order to find some small comfort in pristine nature, but foremost – I’m ure it was to go to a place where I possibly somehow could reach Bob’s spirit.
And ,yes, it felt, on those walks, I was able to reach out and give all my late love to him, to truly wish him well, to express all this deep emotion and appreciation I had never expressed to him when he was still among us.! To tell him how much I mised him.!
Many a times, I cried I sobbed on this trail, I cursed and I blamed myself, – why he and not me, and why had I not shared my suffering with him, so he would have shareed- maybe – his with me, – or at least, why did I not respond to his last phone call telling me about his dog, who had been my puppy, – running again? – In the private intimacy of those aged and un -judging tall Ponderosas, a few happily chirping birds and a pair of obliviously fluttering butterflies, there was nothing I could not say. –
The trail, starting just a few steps beyond my backyard, leads up to a steep and at times fiercely roaring mountain greek, which I have to cross balancing over a trunk to get to the other trailhead. From there I follow up the north trail, all the way to this special view spot, marked by a marvelous green granite rock . From here I can see the back-face of a mountain I’d never noticed in the eightheen years I have lived here. The sinking sun across the valley to the west throws shadows and high-lights on this face in ever new surprises, and each day a new anticipation, – – to what the mountain would reveal to me this time, – fills me with awe and wonder. Of course, there too, I was looking for Bob’s face.
Then, one evening, maybe I was about a week into doing them, the walks, – in the upper part of this to me new mountain, I first made out the shape of a maned lion, and in it I saw a face, – clear to my visual perception, – wearing he features of the archetypal Christ, the resurrected One.., the way it is engraved in my memory…
A face so kind, a face all knowing, all understanding- , all forgiving, and just so kind.
I’ve seen the face again and again. I try to see it when I wake up in the morning and before I go to sleep. I know it’s there, but it takes me to be in front of the mountain to really see it. That’s why I still do the walks.
Sometimes I sing one of Bob‘s songs while hiking up the winding path, – Bob was a musician and songwriter of only one kind, – even change some of his sad verses around to more happy wordings, – like the angel, he is singing of, the angel he lost, coming back to me, now as Bob – and almost always I have some kind of conversation going on with him. Not that I would hear his voice literally, but more often than not , I hear words in my head, – things he eems to be saying to me, wise words and words of higher knowldege. Words that are coming from a different plane. And I feel his warm presence, hear his voice and his Love in that voice in my head, reverbering throughout my whole .. whatever I am. .., someone left behind for a reason unknown.
On the way donwwards I pick some wildflowers and put them on that special place I made for him, – to the right of our cabin, right next to the peacepole.
Every day I play his CD, the only one he left us with, „Kiss the Lizard“, twelve songs of his, – him singing of his longings, his lonenliness, his trials. I have not heard them on NPR yet…
I think – Bob is alrigth.
And I came to name this mountain Mount O’Connor, after Bob‘s last name.
Some evenings I feel – that – I just cannot walk, – feeling too tired, no energy, or the weather seems not good enough. – Then -, and I’m generally not a very disciplined person, – I find myself setting out anyway, at least – to please the dogs, I say; very slowly first I go, maybe just around the next corner , but after I have walked for a few hundred meters (sorry, I am an European), and have witnessed the contagious joy expressed in leaps and extra laps performed by the two doggy-friends, my breathing gets deeper and the steps are coming easier. I start to straigthen up, feel rejuvenated and gradullay am restoring to a new aliveness; the refreshing gurgles of the mountain greek seep deeply into me, clearing out my ears and my mind of many unecessary thoughts and worries, bringing my heart back to its natural beat, and kindle some new sparks into my spirit. – And the beauty around me in those upper foothills to those majesctic Sangre de Cristos, – with the sun setting slowly over the valley behind me, casting its last sunrays of the day, onto peaks and precipes, – is – simply – sublime!
In those recent times, – I must admit, I did not believe in much anymore. I found out that having hope for the wrong things – is the wrong thing. – And I can’t really say that I would believe in those walks – like , – let’s say, – someone else might believe in this country, or – maybe – a new government with a completely fresh, dearly needed, I might add – direction; – rather – I believe in them – like in the effectiveness of a certain medicine, which has proved itself extremely beneficial over a period of time.
But – it’s been more than this still; it’s been – something different altogether: it has been, most of all, – the experience of – grace. – Not a grace I would have deserved in any way, just – a grace given.
And therefore I can truly say – in Grace, I believe.
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