Wednesday, February 03, 2010

High country

This is a place that I love.

It's the corner of the Continental Divide, where Atlantic meets Pacific meets Arctic. "The apex," one might say, the center; the place where life can flow in any direction - a single drop of water, a fractal flake of snow, a moment in time. It's near here, on the Columbia Icefield, in the Canadian Rockies.

Look East. Look West. Look North. That's opportunity. But to start at the beginning, we look up.

This is a place where few venture; a world of rock and ice and little more. Water flows down; we climb. Trees give way to a sterile moonscape of pure beauty.

This is a place where I put on my sleeping-bag coat; turn to face the frigid wind and blasts of cold. I'm a biosphere of warmth, as long as I'm moving. I huddle in my sleeping-bag coat and march strong.

This is a place where I wander; both over the snow and inside my mind. I think about the far-away places the flakes atop these pinnacles may someday reach; the Mackenzie River, the Columbia River, and Hudson Bay.

It reminds me that nothing is permanent and nothing stays the same. It helps me feel more secure with uncertainty; more comfortable. I bundle up my sleeping-bag coat and start down.

This is a place; just a place. The Triple Divide is just an idea, someone's theory, somewhere else. We're just a couple of hikers out for a stroll - somewhere high, somewhere quiet, flowing home.