Tuesday, March 07, 2006


The first time I was ever on top of a mountain was on Mt. Killington, Vermont. It was early October, the foliage season, and S. and I were camping at a small lake behind Lake Bomoseen. I had never seen any mountains larger than the Poconos in PA, and I was stunned to see the golden towers stretching almost to heaven. I could hardly wait until the next morning to ride the gondola to the top of Killington.

After breakfast the following day we drove directly to the base of Killington and ascended to the top of the mountain by Gondola. The further we ascended, the more we were surrounded by swirling mists. It was a cool morning and the top of the mountain was enshrouded by clouds. Standing on the observation deck, a glass of wine to warm us, I could see the disappointment in S.`s eyes. As she snuggled closer, moisture curling her hair, I told her the view was amazing and I was so happy to be there to share it with her. She looked up at me and smiled, with that look of determination I`d grown so fond of and said, “My dear, you really haven`t seen anything yet. We`ll come back tomorrow if it`s a bit warmer.”

The following morning the sun rose brightly and by 8.00 AM the temperature was in the 60`s. S was very excited about our return trip to Killington and I scarcely had time to grab a camera and cassette player before we were in the car, on our way.

Our second trip in the Gondola revealed the treasures that were shrouded by haze the previous day. As we ascended, the golden maple leaves took on a majesty that can only be seen in New England for a few brief weeks each fall. Rather than stopping at the observation station, S took my hand and led me to a small trail that led to the peak of the mountain. The trail wound through shrubbery and small bedraggled trees, obscuring our destination. I smiled as we climbed, thinking how happy S would be to show me the apex.

As we left the concealment of the shrubbery we climbed over some large rocks and were finally on a large outcropping. As I was catching my breath I looked over at S, then…..past her! I was standing atop an ocean of color, stretching as far as the eye could see. Its immensity was overwhelming and I found myself shaking. My body sank to the ground before I realized it. I found myself involuntarily on my knees, bowing to the wonder before me. I felt an awe and reverance in that moment and my thoughts turned to the Creator and His/her munificence. S took my hand and I was shortly able to stand and even move around a bit, encircling the rock, checking all the angles. For the next few hours we sat and talked as others came, saw and went. As the afternoon waned, we lit a joint and smoked it; no matter, did nothing. We were as high as could be just being there, the wonder of that place precluded artificial enhancement.

As it got to be near 4.00 PM we had been alone on the peak for about 45 minutes. As we sat admiring the sun`s voyage across the mountains, we were approached by the Park Ranger who was working at a fire look-out station further back on the peak. He told us he had seen us sitting there for most of the afternoon and hoped that we had enjoyed his mountain. We smiled and thanked him and he told us that the last gondola of the day would be leaving in 15 minutes. I think he sensed our sadness as he said, “Have you ever seen a sunset from the top of a mountain? The colors are blazing, on fire!”

I looked at S and we were nodding our heads in unison. I said to the ranger “Is it OK for us to stay here and see it?” He smiled, “Sure. The only thing is, you`ll have to walk down the mountain as its dark. I could lend you a flashlight, but it`s a long walk down Killington at night.” S and I held hands, smiling, nodding, and the ranger gave us his flashlight before leaving us.

The sunset was overwhelming, as you might expect. At its nadir, the mountains ablaze, I remembered the cassette player and the music I had remembered to put in my pocket. I loaded the player and pushed play.

S cried as we listened to one of our favorite songs from Yes; “Nous Sommes Du Soliel”. We are the sun.

Hold me my love, hold me today, call me round

Travel we say, wander we choose, love tune

Lay upon me, hold me around lasting hours
We love when we play

We hear a sound and alter our returning
We drift the shadows and course our way on home

Flying home Going home.

Look me my love sentences move dancing away

We join we receive
As our song memories long hope in a way

Nous sommes du soleil
Hold me around lasting hours
We love when we play

Nous sommes du soleil

Nous sommes du soleil.

Nous sommes du soleil