Reaching The Summit

Entry by: MONARCHB

24th April 2015
Reaching the Summit

He was always afraid of heights. Climbing ladders, riding on Ferris wheels, even going up a steep flight of stairs made him dizzy. His life on the flat plains of Kansas suited him just fine. He didn't care if the empty land was a haven for tornadoes, those funnel clouds of wind made fierce by the lack of mountains in their way.

So, when his wife suggested they take their summer vacation in Colorado, he hesitated. Even though the state was mostly flat in its eastern regions, that's not the part she wanted to see. The massive and majestic Rocky Mountains were her ultimate goal. She wouldn't take "no" for an answer. She begged and pleaded and made life pretty miserable for him for several weeks until he finally said "yes"---but only on one condition.

"Once we start traveling into the mountain ranges, you have to do all the driving. I'll just sit in the passenger seat with my eyes closed. That's the only way you'll get me there."

She agreed and several months later--in the midst of a hot and dry July--they set out. For the first two days, he did all the driving; then, when they could see the vast Rockies in the distance, she took over the wheel.

It was as if she was on a mission--a pilgrimage--to see those high places that for her whole life she merely dreamed about. As they approached the mountains, he became more and more silent. Reticent among the valleys and peaks, the gray granite cliffs and the mountain meadows filled with wildflowers of yellow ragweed and red Indian paintbrush. But his eyes remained closed to all of the color surrounding them.

At nightfall, they finally arrived at their destination: a high summit near Mount Elbert. He finally opened his eyes in complete abandonment and total wonder. He started to cry.

His wife was concerned that his fear, his vertigo had returned. "No, no," he quietly said. "It's just that I've never seen so many stars before. I never knew you could be so close to the stars."