Now, where did I leave that?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mountain Womon?

Yes, that's spelled was explained to me as a way of making us rethink our language in order to rethink our ways of being, and what I once found silly now makes so much sense to me. So yes, I'm fully literate and able to spell!

Who am I?  I'm a native of the Hudson Valley, who started life waaaaayyyyy down in a town that no longer exists (well, it exists but the name has been changed to protect the innocent, and celebrate the mythical past), North Tarreytown, aka Sleepy Hollow.  It seems I've spent my 48 1/2 years following the river northward, changing my mountains but never quite leaving their sight entirely...there were the Hudson Highlands in my early days, followed by a couple of decades of Shawangunks, and then... the Catskill Mountains of myth and lore, of profound beauty and ever-changing mood. 

Perhaps 'Mountain' Womon is a misnomer, when one is at the bottom of the mountains and not IN them...and yet they are there every single day. Just before I get in the car to go to work (we won't be talking about WORK...suffice it to say I'm grateful in this economy to have a job and am 'working hard' at enhancing the rest of my life so as to not dwell quite so much on what I do to help pay the bills), I do a quick check of the mountains from the driveway.  Are they visible?  Do I see snow?  A tapestry of color?  A carpet of green?  I don't think there's ever been a time in the 2 1/2 years we've lived here that I went to the car without doing that check.

On Fall and Winter mornings, before Spring obscures the view with leaves, we start our weekend mornings by pulling up the shades and doing that same assessment from our bed, coffee in hand....

Driving home every day from the aforementioned work, I am profoundly blessed to head back towards those mountains, and every single day am awed by the ever-changing mood, magic and mystery of them.  They are my landmarks in the most spiritual sense.  It's funny; every day I drive over the Hudson River twice.  Decades ago in high school that same crossing was part of daily life.  When the kids were little we took them to play at a park overlooking the river.  I love that river, love how it sinuously caresses the land it touches, but even though in some ways it has been even more present in my life than the mountains, somewhere along the way, they became part of me, and I became part of them.  Maybe it happened when I first began sharing them with the love of my life, seeing them through her eyes.  Maybe it started happening before that, during the daily hour-long commute at a time that I was redefining life & self (oh, is that all?).  Whenever the love affair began, it's still going strong, and while it's not rocking chairs, but a glider, and we don't watch the sun set over the mountains as often as we should, they are an inextricable part of me now.

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