I moved my eyes towards a peak to the east that rose another thousand feet above the one upon which I was standing. I scanned the granite mountainside while drinking in the splendor of its uncommon strength and beauty. I took humble notice of the sea of boulders scattered, seemingly, so indiscriminately across the slope as if they’d fallen willy-nilly from the heavens, taking root, as it were, in the granite earth. Wind-worn and time-tested pine trees bent their ageing knees in homage to the sky, reaching rugged branches towards the sun, growing astoundingly from out of the ancient rock as if to prove that their survival was just a matter of will. And perhaps it was. Perhaps it was.
My dog, Chica, breathed deep to fill her lungs with the high mountain air, as if inhaling helium from a living balloon, as if collecting the best of her surroundings to take home as a remembrance of this very sacred place. My dogs together paused in wonder, temporarily foregoing their roles as guides and protectors to acknowledge and appreciate the moment, to be mystified and amazed by the grandeur of their surroundings. I stood in awe of the majesty of God, in gratitude for my life, for the wonderful creatures that are my dogs, and for the remarkable place that I’d been given to partake of. I allowed, for the first time in a long time, tears of gratitude to leak from my tired eyes, to roll down my weathered cheeks as if it were the first time I had ever encountered such amazing grace.