Thursday, July 22, 2010

Searching For Denali

There will be more about the Four Knowable Truths, but now, a brief travelogue.

In my posting on July 11th, I mentioned that Kathy and I would be taking a trip to Alaska, mainly to visit my 87 year-young uncle David and aunt Aileen in Anchorage. Well, we are here. For the past three days, we have been traveling around a bit, and getting used to the idea that the sun doesn't set until well after 11:00 pm (it's now nearly midnight and it is still light outside).

One of our destinations was Denali National Park. The showpiece, of course, is Denali, aka Mt. McKinley, rising some 18,000 feet from the surrounding valley to an impressive total height of 20,320 feet. However, for three days, the mountain has eluded us. Rain, fog, clouds have all obscured the view of the mountain's face. Of course, as I mentioned in the July 11th blog, Denali does not care if we can see her or not.

However, I must now say that I disagree with that proposition. Kathy and I have been feeling that the mountain is evading us on purpose. It is as though she is saying, "You are mortal and must earn the privilege of seeing my beauty!" We stopped at what was supposedly the best vantage point on the way back down from the park, and sat for more than an hour waiting for the clouds that shielded her to lift or part. To no avail.

After a family gathering tonight, however, we went back to uncle David's hand-built geodesic dome house, went to the top floor "sky room," and there she was. Even though she was some 150 miles away, she was magnificent. As the sun SLOWLY set, the background behind Denali grew brighter, causing the mountain to come into greater relief and detail. The clouds that obscured our vision earlier in the day were simply decorations at the foot of the edifice, like tiny orange brush strokes on an ever-changing canvas.

It took releasing attachment to ever seeing this magnificent landmark for us to be able to see it. And then the seeing of it was effortless.

Well, it's nearly twelve midnight here, and the blog must be published today and Kathy and I must get some rest, even though the rest of the house is alive with activity (do these Alaskans never sleep?). Until tomorrow (which will be in five minutes)...


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