It was dark outside, in the early morning, the very early morning, before dawn, before wakefulness, before nature had yet come to life, or the mountain taken its position of grandeur in the greater assemblage that is the Sierra Nevada.
I sat in warm water, in wet comfort, while shivering cold and frost blanketed all that was not sheltered by immersion, as I was. All that was not encompassed by, protected by, 102 degrees of separation. A welcoming tub. A figurative womb, if you will.
Quietly enmeshed in the process of selective rebirth, I watched humbly from the deck as the contrast of dark earth and a tranquil, gradually lightening sky played itself out like an old black and white movie, calmly, slowly, but confidently, developing a brilliant and exceptional script. It was not plodding in any way, or accidental. It was purposeful. It was deliberate.
Being part of the emergence, part of the awakening, I waited. And I watched. I was an extra, a stand-in, a bit player, really, in the grand scheme of things, in a plan that was the enhanced intention of a fine director.
The trees, and the mountain, stood strong, stood sturdy, silhouetted, coal black, cold and foreboding against the rising heavens. Against the possibility, the probability even, of redemption. I remained transfixed, spellbound in the grip of its magnificence, and its dramatic splendor.
And then, vaguely, faintly, as if a mirage, the slightest touch of pink, wanting, waiting, to kiss the distant horizon. Inaudibly, cautiously, but eventually touching the sky like an adolescent boy might contemplate, and then realize, a reluctant first kiss with the young girl sitting next to him at the movies.
As I remember, he would have sat through the remainder of the film with an erection pressing hard to be relieved.
I finished my tub as the sky burst forth, flamboyant with color, the mountain gradually clothing itself for the day in traditional shades of green, yellow, brown, orange and red.
Awakening again my sense of the poetic.