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Every morning I stand in Mountain Pose, a foundational yoga position, and think of the San Gabriel Mountains across the valley. I draw on their steady presence. I feel their power; their gravitas binds me to them.
Today those mountains are shrouded in fog. Still they ground me. They are earth rising to the heavens and yet deeply present. They are silent messengers of the Divine. Where their namesake’s messages came with trumpets and bright lights, these mountains reach out to us with their quiet presence, their message no less important. Even behind a veil of thick, moist air, they call to us body and soul to be here and now.
It’s funny how the mountains seem more prevalent on a day they are hidden. That which is secreted allows the imagination to pass through the mists and wander into Avalon or Shangri-La, some mythic world that exists on the edge of time, space and psyche.
The past is one of those magical places. It is grounded in memory and yet shrouded by it as the fog grows thicker over time. But the past is ever with us. A looming presence built more of feeling than an exact replay of events. The mountains I look to every day, over time, change. My memories, though powerful, shift through the years, become more made thing than recording.
It’s dusk, and the fog has not lifted to reveal the San Gabriels. I suppose today they will remain hidden as darkness makes its way over the valley. Some days the past remains hidden, too. And that’s okay. Just as I know the mountains are there, I know the past stands forever in my memory whether I can recall it or not. Those I’ve lost are always there. Those moments we had together are just beyond the veil.
The sun has broken through the clouds illuminating the houses across the street. A day without sunlight ends in revelation, not of mountains or memory, but of a moment before memory. It’s the now the mountains remind us to be in. The sun becomes brighter just before it slips below the horizon. This moment is as bright as it will ever be. Tomorrow it will be a memory and the mists will slowly cover it. But like the mountains, this memory, this feeling will always be ever present with me.