On the higher slopes of the mountain, just below the timberline but in an alpine meadow that stretched forever, we sat in awestruck silence, the air hot and still, the white blossoms of the wildflower beargrass like signposts, pointing to mountain peaks on the far distant horizon.
We had climbed here, through no little difficulty, but because we were together, and so much in love, the steep elevation gain was achieved without complaint.
It was so worth it – pending blisters notwithstanding – to sit side by side and capture forever on camera so breathtaking a vista.
One day we would climb, together, another mountain. Steep and rocky was the terrain, the physical toil extremely hard, the emotional toll harder still.
Not willingly would we climb that mountain, but rather out of necessity.
Cancer had returned with a vengeance.
Determination yet helplessness dogged our steps.
But because we were so much in love, hand in hand we trudged upward.
Yet one day, grief, an unwelcome and uninvited guest, replaced my wife as my new traveling companion.
My thoughts this day as I watched the shaft of early morning sunlight created by the parted curtain make its way across the photograph of the mountain we had climbed.