Tuesday, July 29, 2014

that summer morning

While the little one was finishing summer's bible school I found myself perusing through the tiny little tourist hamlet that lies at the edge of the hill country.  After drop-off I hopped into the car and headed down River Road.  It was a quiet morning and the weekend tourists had not yet arrived.  The handful of weekday tourists were still asleep and finally, for once this summer I found silence within the town.
Cactus Flower at the summit of Prayer Mountain
I drove out to Prayer Mountain, a steep dome-shaped hill on the northwest side, and climbed it for my morning exercise.  Climbing steps, not actually cliffs and walls, but steps.  Prayer Mountain has a total of 220 stone steps, chiseled and made from man.  They are not perfect, some more steep than others, some needing a wider gate, needing the attention to avoid a busted knee.  And finally, once you reach the top, you can see throughout the valley-neighborhoods, the outlining of rivers and creeks,  the surprising green of the summer, haze and smoke from a few fires.  It is a lovely reward once you make the summit.  And so I took in the 360 view and headed back down, only to make a few more trips up until I was drenched by summer's humidity and my legs grew shaky and weak.
Blackfoot Daisy
I love losing myself in a drive.  No map, no GPS, just an innate sense of direction that I cherish.  I believe it is one of my valued natural skills.  I came upon a swimming hole and watched the water and families along the banks; brave and bold cliff jumping youths pressuring one another to jump from higher points, families dabbling their tiny tot's toes in the cool spring water and a group of older women soaking in their own fountain of youth perhaps.  Every milestone seemed to have congregated in that one spot that late summer morning.  And then the sun came out with a wild vengeance.
Gorgeous green waters of the swimming hole
Hungry and hot, I decided to go to my favorite little coffee shop on the square.  I found myself a corner, drank a caramel frappe, scarfed a breakfast taco, and took in some reading.  I was still thankful the tourists were still at bay and I could enjoy the slow paced town just a little bit more.  The day brought peace.  It was sublime.
Oh to be wild and free!
As the little one was climbing into the car the sky began to darken and the clouds grew heavy.  The air became unseasonably cool and it was then I knew that I had to take advantage of the break in the heat.  I drove to one of our favorite parks and watched him make quick friends.  They played soccer-volleyball, a made-up game that reminded me of how my husband used to use his soccer skills while playing sand volleyball in college.  The air chilled and in one swift moment it felt like autumn.  It was a most unusual summer moment to behold and it energized my spirit.  As I sat on a rock watching the improvisation of this newfangled game come into play it began to rain.  It was then I knew that that day, that summer morning would be my favorite this season.  May you find yours...
The stairs of Prayer Mountain

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