Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Redoubt Mine

Certain mountains can speak to our souls and lay claim to our hearts.

My mom loved Camelback Mountain in Phoenix. We lived about a mile away from it and it's central peak was dead center in our view. We were privileged to live there. Mom loved Camelback so, and after moving away to a completely different neighborhood for the last four years of her life, she would often remark that she missed seeing it.

My Aunt Adeline, whom we affectionately called Hazel, loved Camelback, too. She used to call it "her mountain."

Georgia O'Keeffe loved El Pedernal mountain claiming God told her that if she painted it enough, she could have it.

If one can claim a mountain as their own, I think I've found mine. While I love Camelback Mountain a whole bunch, too, and nothing can compare to Denali (Mt. McKinley) at her 20,320 feet in Alaska, I think the volcano named Mt. Redoubt is laying claim to me. When leaving our camp spot at the school and I check traffic to the left to get on the busy street, I see it.

I see it, that is, when it's actually clear. This particular summer, that seems to be a rarity.

Mt. Redoubt is 10, 197 feet tall, and because we're at sea level here, you can see every bit of it.

It's often hazy, like in this photo.

Or cloudy as it seems to be most days this summer. Often I look toward Redoubt and see nothing but grey sky. It amazes me that a giant stands hidden behind a veil of cloud that looks like it stretches out to eternity.

Redoubt lies across Cook Inlet from the Kenai Peninsula. I suppose it's about 50 or 60 miles away,
though I'm not sure.

There are mountains all around us here. I love them all. The range to the south and the ones to the east are so comforting to see day in and day out. I love being around mountains. Growing up in Phoenix, AZ there are "mountains" visible from most parts of the valley. The Fisherman has always said he's not fond of the city of Tempe because you can't see any mountains from there; it's just flat with trees. At first I didn't know what he meant. But now I feel it too. I love seeing all the mountains around here. Rugged mountains with snow still on them. But Mt. Redoubt jutting up from flat land along the coast is just spectacular. Photos just don't do it justice. It is so much bigger and impressive in person. On a clear day, it's presence is commanding.

So many days have been cloudy this summer that sometimes I forget Redoubt is there. On a sunny day, I casually look left to turn out of the school's parking lot, and wham! There it is! My heart skips a beat and a a broad smile comes over me. I can't help it.

Clear days offer glimpses of Mt. Redoubt through the trees and on certain roads. Driving down city streets, like from church, from the fabric store (on Redoubt St.),
there it sits at the end of the road.


I think I'm falling in love with a mountain.

Redoubt mine.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Judi,
    I can full appreciate how one gets attached so strongly to a mountain. Before he passed away, my father took us kids (in our 30s!) several times to the Bavarian alps, and with my brother we climbed the mountains around Mittenwald. Although not the biggest or most famous, my favourite was the Arnstitze, and I was lucky enough to climb that in the snow with Amanda some years later, when his wife made a return visit and took us two along. I miss the mountains so, so much. Take care