"We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains."- Li Po
There is a special place I visit. I discovered it when I was just a child, maybe seven or eight years old and in all of the years that I have visited this place, it never changes.
It is a flat, jutting, red-rock shelf above a pasture where a glossy, black bull roamed. He was the lonely king of the long grass and cottonwoods, always smelling the creek water nearby and sometimes busting down the fence to drink and wallow in it when necessary. Below the sandstone overlook, junipers and cypress host sparrows and finches competing for insects while watching for the shadows of hawks and eagles. The language of birds, their compulsion to sing is amazing to watch and hear, born of caution most likely. Up through the trees, past quail and sometimes mule deer, the first slabs of rock appear. Lizards dance in the sun and black stink bugs meander. I've spent time watching this unselfconscious display until my own shadow falls on them and they become wary.
Up on this mountain top, I feel clean wind, space and the weight of my own thoughts. Often, after a few minutes of silence, life compresses into long moments of mindlessness. That's when my eyes close and I feel the sun melt the last chunk of anxiety from my being and I sit with the mountain.