Big flakes of snow melted on our faces as we cross-country skied, breaking trail on the ridge above Cold Stream Valley watershed. The soft quiet storm shattered by the sound of the train swiftly rolling up the mountain to Donner Pass. Joyous, we made our way through the meringue-like forest. Deep snow, grey sky, frozen blue pond and the charcoal scrawled tree scape now frosted, defined the sunless day.
Like thirsty pilgrims arriving at a well after a long journey, we gave thanks, knowing each snow filled hour meant sustained water for drought stricken cities and fields. Magnetized, we were drawn to the snow, both day and night, awestruck by this magical and rare occurrence. Never again taken for granted. A midnight stroll found us by the bank of the Truckee, laughing in joy, as the river, roared her song into the night, balance restored. In the heart of darkness, the snow-covered landscape reflected warmth, restoring our parched souls.
John Muir wrote in My First Summer in the Sierra “measureless mountain days…days in whose light everything seems to show us God…the blessings of one mountain day; whatever her fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, she is rich forever.”
3 thoughts on “Long life, short life, but I am rich forever”
We were like cold-seeking moths to a wet flame. Thanks for capturing both the strange, dark, light of the night and the weighty loft of the overcrossing. I am enraptured by the concrete impossibility of that structure. I hadn’t realized the relationship between the motion it facilitates and the flow of the river until you represented it here.
Wow! Beautiful painting with color and words.
I am so glad that all of us braved the cold snowy night and allowed ourselves to be lost and then found in the shadows.