With My Mama in the Mountains

…and my dad and brother too - but it’s Mother’s Day, so only my mom gets to be in this title!


We drove up the canyon first thing this morning - the canyon I know like the back of my hand, the canyon where a mountain lion crossed my path back in October. Up and up to a trailhead whose name rolled off my tongue like the name of an old friend but whose path I’d never walked. No cars in the little unpaved lot - just a ribbon of dirt winding through the sage and into the wilds. Perfect.

There was a whole lot of burn on the ascent - both in my calves from the climb and all around us from controlled fires that took place over the winter. But switchbacking up the slope between the roar of a two of snow-fed creeks, we gradually made our way above the scorched earth and into a land of aspen and pine.


And I remembered what I decided last fall - that I MUST someday live among the aspens. They call to me - even leafless, waiting for warmer weather to awaken a million flickering slivers of peridot on the branches. They call me home, and someday I’ll answer.

We moved through pockets - pockets of heat, of cold. It was a little like swimming in a large body of water and feeling the shifting currents in the larger expanse. Sometimes I needed my coat while in other moments the thought of a coat was unbearable. The scents of juniper, ponderosa, and decaying pine formed their own pockets, too, catching me off guard and causing me to throw my head back, eyes closed, to drink in the scents.

And everywhere, there was life. And green. Spring has sprung in the mountains, indeed. 

Hayley JosephsComment