A Morning in Jasper

elk-with-mountains

The tall, scrawny pines sheltered me from the cool morning breeze as I fired up my small camp stove and made some coffee, the smell of the instant grounds aroused my sleepy senses.

The tops of the snow covered mountains were hidden, obscured by clouds and as I scanned above the tree line across the rocky, glacier carved crags the mist turned into a light, fine rain.

It was seven thirty in the morning and already the sun was up somewhere outside of the valley where we’d camped. I love the early mornings afield, the smell of the fresh grasses and pine needles covered in dew, crispness in the air that awakens the mind and a humbling feeling that explorers who’d come this way long before me must have felt as though they had stumbled into a strange, wonderful sort of paradise.

As I try and sip from my favorite camp mug without burning my lips I notice the rain fading, and suddenly a female and a juvenile elk step out from the trees and into the clearing whose edge I am standing at. They are gorgeous, their coats wet and tawny. They both graze for a bit and finally lay down among the grass just fifty yards from where I stand.

At that moment, as the clouds began to lift exposing the snow capped mountain tops I am stunned by the arrival of a bull elk, his shoulders black, his antlers fat with velvet, he steps out onto the plain and bugles as he postures himself. He is regal, majestic and he is bold and I am in awe of his beauty.

There are no pictures that can relay the splendor of this land, no words that by themselves illuminate the imagery that paints one’s soul by experiencing it, but simply being here, standing among the spiritual essence of this place is purely magnificent.

 

Advertisement

A Morning in Jasper

The tall, scrawny pines sheltered me from the cool morning breeze as I fired up my small camp stove and made some coffee, the smell of the instant grounds aroused my sleepy senses.

The tops of the snow covered mountains were hidden, obscured by clouds and as I scanned above the tree line across the rocky, glacier carved crags the mist turned into a light, fine rain.

It was seven thirty in the morning and already the sun was up somewhere outside of the valley where we’d camped. I love the early mornings afield, the smell of the fresh grasses and pine needles covered in dew, crispness in the air that awakens the mind and a humbling feeling that explorers who’d come this way long before me must have felt as though they had stumbled into a strange, wonderful sort of paradise.

As I try and sip from my favorite camp mug without burning my lips I notice the rain fading, and suddenly a female and a juvenile elk step out from the trees and into the clearing whose edge I am standing at. They are gorgeous, their coats wet and tawny. They both graze for a bit and finally lay down among the grass just fifty yards from where I stand.

At that moment, as the clouds began to lift exposing the snow capped mountain tops I am stunned by the arrival of a bull elk, his shoulders black, his antlers fat with velvet, he steps out onto the plain and bugles as he postures himself. He is regal, majestic and he is bold and I am in awe of his beauty.

There are no pictures that can relay the splendor of this land, no words that by themselves illuminate the imagery that paints one’s soul by experiencing it, but simply being here, standing among the spiritual essence of this place is purely magnificent.

Spirit

Some people spend their whole lives searching for their spirit, that element that drives them, that keeps them alive. It’s the thing that fills their dreams at night and replenishes their souls.

Some folks go to church to find theirs, some spend years upon years filtering through books looking for theirs and some find that theirs exist within the service to others and spend their lives helping them.

I have seen mine; I have felt its warm embrace and the very breath of it spill through me, replenishing my blood, filling my body and the essence of my character.

I have held it in my calloused hands; let it run through my fingers and over my toes.

I have tasted it on hot August nights under a full moon.

I have heard its songs; I’ve closed my eyes and listened to its harmony for hours on end.

When I am distressed, or when I feel like my days have grown darker and my spirit seems far away, I know I don’t haven’t far to go to go to find it.

It’s in the cool grass in the park just before sundown, I can feel it under my naked feet; it’s carried by the wind to play with the needles in the towering pines along the boulevard. It floats through the dark waters along the creek and it even rides upon the back of the crow as he sores through the air.

My spirit exists in all that is nature, the wind, the sun, the moss covered dirt and even the rain as it washes down over me in the spring and among the brisk January snowflakes as they fill my hair.

I can find it outside my window. It’ll even fly with me when I cruise old country roads on my bike.

And sometimes it leads me on to new and wonderful places, calling me from within my dreams, begging me to come play hide and seek in the mountains and far off wonderful places.

I never really lost my spirit, never had to look very far, but sometimes I forget to glance in the right direction. As we grow older from time to time we lose sight of it and have to remember that it’s always within reach, we just have to let it in.