Maria and I took a little one-on-one time at 6:15 this morning to hike up into the hills behind their home. After a jaunty ten minute drive, we reached our destination. The base of the hills dipped into the waters of the mountain reservoir and covered the shore in shale and needles.
We looked up.
Rocks loomed heavily above, glowing red as the sun peeked from behind the opposite hill. Pine trees swayed. Birds warbled. Deer leapt. Morning broke.
Taking one last glance down at the car, we stepped foot after foot along the carved, dirty trail into the hillside. We walked quickly, pausing only to press Cheba onward or take a swig of water. Sap glistened, smiling little menaces from every branch we braced for support.
Carefully, we moved through thistle and rabbit droppings. Eventually, we reached the base of the massive rocks we'd seen below. As momentous as they looked from the car, up close: they were mystifying. Shocked by their size, we traded places as we climbed higher and higher, swapping Cheba between us as we pushed and pulled our way to the top.
And how worth it was.
Blue skies painted above, rays of sunlight blasting our cheeks and the back of our necks. We did yoga. We sighed. We ooo'd and awe'd.
Maria scooped Cheeba up in her hands one last time and presented him to the world.
For a brief moment: we had risen. We had risen indeed
And then, it was time for another adventure...