I have dealt with epilepsy since high school, which means some of my days did not start out as well as most others. Thankfully, age, diet, and medication seem to have tamed the disorder and put the worst days behind me. The following story relates one of the more questionable days that occurred while I lived in Estes Park, in the Colorado Rockies, and reflects the positive outcome from one of my iffy mornings. Enjoy. As always, thanks for stopping by.
My mind is troubled today. Craving relief, I lie in bed, close my eyes, and try to relax. Slowly calming, I sense my spirit rise toward the heavens. Tension fades as I float above the landscape and witness images of the earth below.
Like an eagle riding warm, uplifting air currents, I glide through the azure sky and survey every nook and cranny. My house comes into view––the tile-red roof, the wooden deck I built, and the majestic Ponderosa pine that shadows the garage. I drift eastward. The sun’s heat on my back soothes me as I approach the mountain ridge adjacent to my abode. “The Finger” juts from the stony bluff and points at my fluffy shape drifting by.
Over the top, I continue toward Muggin’s Gulch. A small herd of elk browses in the meadow near the highway. One of them spots my shadow and jerks her head upward, ears poised, alert to danger. I extend a wispy arm and wave in response. “Hello. It’s just me, and I’ll not harm you. Go ahead and eat, my friend.”
I pass the edge of the Front Range and shift out to the plains. My temperament darkens, discouraged by the scene. So open, yet crowded and unappealing, the flat ground smeared with the jagged, superficial surfaces of homes and industry–– too much compressed civilization. Frenzied, I long to return to the mountains, to the wilderness habitat that captures my heart. “God, please, don’t let me fade away out here.”
Suddenly, like a milk money bully, a southwest wind lurches in front of me and blocks my path. Startled at first, I huddle in cumulus fashion. But the thug also represents an opportunity and I seize the moment. With the strength of an Olympic swimmer on the gold medal lap, I push off the intimidator.
The surge propels me westward. I leap into the atmosphere to traverse the shallow summits of the Front Range once more. The snow-covered peaks of the Great Divide face me. My prayer is answered.
A serene valley opens beneath me––home. Estes Park, a peaceful little village, lies within the terrain. The town’s residents go about their business at a methodical, easy pace. Winter’s harsh cold has ended. Spring heartens the onslaught of preparation for another hectic tourist season. Knowing that I will be participating, I chuckle at the thought.
Below me, a road weaves northwest of the awakening community and gradually climbs into Rocky Mountain National Park––a place that has always provided me comfort. Astray once more, I meander above Horseshoe Park, where Fall River snakes its way through the grassy meadow. Scatterings of Wapiti forage on tender green shoots sprouting from the revitalized soil. Bighorn sheep lap at the salty mineral deposits around Sheep Lakes. Gawking at the animals, a few out-of-state visitors stand at the roadside and abuse their camera shutters.
I roll on my back and spot a sun devil reflecting a prism of light above. “WOW!” Anxiety takes a holiday. Like snowpack under the summer sun, taught muscles seem to melt. I hover a few minutes before resuming my heavenly excursion.
A frigid gust sweeps from Trail Ridge Road and nudges me backward. “Sorry,” the breeze seems to whisper. “Didn’t mean to interrupt your solitude.”
“That’s okay,” I reply, then settle in once more. “Solitude is easily recovered up here.”
Drifting at altitude, the hours elapse as if floating on a rubber raft in a backyard pool. Each passing minute brings increased peace. My dreamy tour through the heavens has eliminated my cerebral distress. I arise refreshed, prepared to face the remainder of the day. Should I encounter another troublesome tomorrow, I will remember my lofty journey, and the rejuvenating laps I swam as a Spirit Cloud.