I love the mountains. Just in case I've never said it or articulated it clearly enough, let's just get that out of the way first. I love the extremes; from the gentle summer sunlight to the harshness of a winter's blizzard. The cool of the mornings and nights, those bits of warmth during the day, no matter of how fleeting. The juxtaposition of geology; the way the landscape folds and twists and stacks upon itself in ways that can stupefy the rational mind. I love cruel compassion of the climate. Fuck about, and you're bleached bones upon the tundra, out in the woods. But, if you're mindful, you will learn the omens and get by just fine, grateful for the moments of gentle sun a fresh breezes.
I love our Sahel for its history; dating back to the earliest mentions of the gold rush of Colorado, and maybe a few legends earlier than that. The ruins get the attention of my inner Howard Carter, and I have beheld some wonderful things. Aside from that, start going a mile or so in any direction, beyond the townships, past the ruins, and you're beyond it all. You can lose yourself. You might meet yourself. Out there, in the outback, the rules of engagement change and the fun really begins.
I love the walkabouts. Whether on my own or with company, those are the holiest of moments; when I feel the presence of the Divine. More than a few days away from the bush and my feet begin to itch, I get antsy, I know I need to go. The trail, its sights and scents, are one of the reasons I find to be alive.
I love my bicycle rides, being grateful that I decided not drive for a summer. It might even become a steady practice. The lessons I have taught myself in endurance and relearned in tenacity have been profound. I like how fast I can get going sometimes, but how I can move just as easily at people speed.
I love cooking. From the meditative zen of prepping to the scent of the meal perfuming the house, making for the sweetest of incense. The pairing of food and drink. I'm always on the lookout for a new recipe or three; I like the challenge, the adventure. Given the cuisines I like to cook, I could say this is one of the ways I travel the world. There is something neat about someone from Ethiopia complimenting your homemade berbere blend and saying your w'et reminds them of home that's kind of cool.
I love her iridescent doe eyes, which glitter like abalone shells. The way she never ceases to amaze me. How, without asking, she'll play a song on the radio, and let her audience know, just because. The fact that, after so many years, she still loves me back, despite the fact I might be a little difficult to live with or understand on occasion.
I love her deep soulful dark eyes, so full of youthful innocence, wonder, and potential. Lifetimes ago, I fell in love with a girl with eyes like that, so much so I married her. That marriage was probably doomed from the start, but from it, I gained the true love of my life, and any other woman is just that; the other woman. I love how even though sometimes as she's been growing up I've felt like little more than a glorified babysitter, but she still looks forward to spending time with me, that she too wishes for more. The fact we both can hardly wait for her to be eighteen so we don't need to use her mother for a go-between with our visits. I love that she wants to be a doctor and is so set on climbing Danali. She's fucking magic and truly believe she'll do it all and more.
I love my life in general. Well, I've never truly hated it. Even in the darker times, I've found my reptile zen on one level or another. That stubborn refusal to be broken beneath the blade. I don't know that I'd say I'm content. Content can all to easily lead to complacency, and I have far too much to do to allow for such a state. The moments between heartbeats, where the real magic happens, are amongst my favorites. Life, for all its chaos and horror is nothing more than series of moments, and those moments, a cache of small treasures. Treasures of greater value than folding paper, jingling coins, rubies or glass beads.