I spun around a corner and hit a visual wall: Mount Adams swelled above me. It was snow covered, massive, astounding. It assaulted me with its awesomeness and I stumbled, struck. I pulled to a full stop and found my eyes swimming. It was so beautiful, so surprising, I couldn’t help but cry.
The rest of the day we spent waltzing around the great giant. We spotted Adams again and again, as we rounded corners, as we moved up hills, as we peered through the trees. Each time I was awestruck. Its majesty was undeniable each and every time.
A few other things spun madly through my mind. First, I keep returning to the reality that I am reaching Washington tomorrow. The end is fast approaching. How I will feel, what I have learned, and how I ever will reintegrate? What will the future hold?
Next, the day was filled with an overwhelming number of day and section hikers. One asked, “are you boogying around the mountain?” And I got to say, all smug with pride (one of my least humble moments), “we are boogying to Canada!” The sheer number of hikers and my terror at the constant barrage of humanity took me back to my first train of thought. How will I live in a city again?
But after a while the great crowds thinned out. It was just me, Felix, and the mountain in the woods. It felt right.
Rainbow Dash once told me about this thing that happens when people walk in the woods together. Eventually, when the world quiets down, there are moments when the walkers experience the same beautiful thing together without communicating. They see, they feel, they don’t need to ruin the shared moment with words.
“It is even better from here,” she said.
I climbed higher and we sat, side by side, taking in the mountain one last time, this time bathed in the light of the setting sun. We didn’t speak.
We saw, we felt, we were silent.