Mother’s Day

When Sunday comes, I will be 1,821 miles away. I will be treading the path of the greedy, the desperate, and the hopeful. Those who marched towards the mad promises of gold in a land beyond the laws and god they knew. They traveled by sea and land. Gods with names long-forgotten slept in the titanic mounds of rock and soil, the flesh and bones of The Mother. In the weight of Her shadow they marched.

For the last two days, I have seen the first of these god-mountains. They are the Canadian Rockies, and they have few if any equals. They are proud and violent–armored blades and shattered disks of 100 million year old earth splintering from The Mother, adorned with clouds, and bearing glaciers as a beast bears a lion’s jaws on its neck. When I saw the first of the range, I tried to capture them with my camera. It proved to be a fruitless exercise for many reasons. I couldn’t capture their sheer power or absurd size with the 4 by 7 plastic and silicon square. The land was too great for me as well. I would be stunned by a horizon of titanic peaks streaked with snow, impossible lines of ancient rock, and the belly of a long dead sea–bent horizons. I would look at the map, and I would ask Ian their names, for such peaks dwarf anything we have in Montana. Few have been given names, and many those those names are forgotten. I have rarely felt so completely eclipsed and overwhelmed as I have been today. I have seen dozens of these leviathans stretch beyond the horizon, I have seen larger, more brutal peaks rising behind them. Horizons within horizons. The failure of man’s words to name such a place is telling. We cannot comprehend the vast stretches of time that have brought us before these peaks. We cannot understand The Mother; we can only stumble through Her shadow in stupefied wonder.

To you, my Mother and to our Mother and her many bones.