Yes, of course, I know lightning is shocking everywhere, but there is something so different about the dry, static of Colorado.
From the seemingly clear blue sky, a bolt can materialize and disappear in nearly the same instant. Against the backdrop of an otherwise sunny day, you’re never really sure you saw any lightning at all.
It’s much easier to have confidence there has been a flash, if it is set against the dark backdrop of mountains, and especially if those mountains are shrouded in night’s darkness.
For several days last week, the thunderstorms would roll over the mountains and throw down electricity and water well into the night.
I found myself driving home adjacent to the show two times last week. The thing about Colorado storms is that, sometimes, you do not have to be in them to watch them. The night sky lit gloriously several miles away, revealing the outline of the clouds and mountains.
It got me thinking about time and life.
During a couple of our hikes this year, I could not stop thinking about the fact that I was walking on a time machine. The geologic majesty of mountains and foothills, and random remnants of volcanic centers makes for amazing climbing, but even more fascinating reflection.
In contrast to the age of any mountain, our lives are much more like the instaneous and ephemeral presence of lightning. As we clamored up and around the rocks and trails, I realized how short our lives are compared to the presence of the massive boulders under our feet.
So what do I do with that? My life is a flash in the pan, literally.
I suppose it is about striking in the right way. Leaving my mark so that those who come after me will remember and acknowledge that I was here at all.
There are plenty of reminders, as we hike, of those who have come before us. Someone blazed the trail, several someones laid the train tracks, and in order to be prepared to strike out in our own way, we need to come to terms with what has already been achieved.
At Devil’s Head National Park, for example, getting to the top of the smoke spotter lookout station is a hike and stair climb that changes those who do it.
Big Sprout was impressed by that too. “How in the world did they get this up here?” he asked.
I pondered the same thing. Mind blowing and impressive. Much like the rocks themselves. Equally impressive were the lightning rods that shot out of the four corners of the building… inviting in the ephemeral.
Life is about rocks and lightning. Appreciating and understanding the eternal while making room to embrace and adore the present.
The rocks we climb have been here for thousands upon thousands of years…and they will continue to be here thousands of years after we’re gone.
I’m a short-lived lighning bolt. I could seem insignificant in the larger scheme of things…but that is up to me.
How will I harness my energy? What will I do to leave my mark? Can I be the ingenuity behind a rockface staircase, or will I work instead to spread light as far and as wide as I can?
In short reply…yes. (and the thunder clap quickly follows…)
For information about Meagan, or her first book, Choosing to Grow: Through Marriage. Visit her website at www.meaganfrank.com