Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Summer Mountain Flurry

We were on a ten-day tour of the Colorado Rockies and vicinity a few Julys back. We’d flown into Denver and rented a car, armed only with a map. We had no plans, no hotel reservations. We’d decided to let Destiny lead us where she may and enjoy the path that unfolded.

One evening we found ourselves leaving Estes Park on the eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, in preparation to watch the sunset from the top of the Continental Divide. We loafed leisurely along the pass, making frequent stops along the way to commune (at a safe distance) with grazing elk and to drink in the soft slow curling of the clouds as they congregated in the deep valleys. I remember the sunset was particularly fiery that evening – the entire sky was ablaze in oranges, fuchsias, violets and indigos, progressively moving westward, accentuated by lofty wisps of clouds capturing and layering the luscious shades.

As the last embers of sunset went out, we descended the other side of the Divide. The mountain air was clean and cooling rapidly with night’s arrival. At around 9,000 feet elevation, the strangest thing happened – we drove into a wall of flurrying white. The Hub queried in disbelief, “Is it snowing?”

Indeed it appeared that way, but it was too warm, and the sky above too clear. We stopped the Jeep and blinked at the swirling enigmas. In a few moments, we realized they were moths. A virtual blizzard of frilly white moths, with wings the size of guitar picks.

We got out of the car and stood in amazement, as if witnessing angels. The moths flitted and danced all around us in the light of the headlamps, like a whirlwind of carnation petals. We held our hands out for landing perches and wore the grins of children.

After a length of time of which neither of us are sure, we got back in the car and continued our descent. About 500 feet closer to the valleys, the riot of winged fairies vanished as suddenly as they’d appeared. We looked behind us, and in the taillights could see the dividing line of the mysterious force field containing the community of busy, swirling creatures.

It was the most beautifully peculiar experience.



sidetrack said...

Wow. Thank you for capturing this stunning poem. Wish I could have seen it.

"Only the ephemeral is of lasting value."
--Nabokov, attr. Chekhov.

Lori said...

This must have been beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

Bougie Black Boy said...

Your writing is amazing. and i'm amazed about the snow as well! you create such a beautiful world!
I'm about to cause some scandal on my blog, come see! LOL