They rested together, on cabin porch, facing the western sky as sun neared in communion with crown of rising earth.  They gazed on sky transformed, hues of revelation from out of the blue, before colors receded into transfigured after-sky of night.  In the changing air, the scent of pines held strong in mountain glade, carried in the current of winds from surrounding forest stands.  In vantage on mountain view beneath, they looked upon stand of forest falling away to hidden valley below; the green of the pines becoming darker in the changing way of light, and the first gold hints of coming fall showing in the accents of aspen stands, their pale and peeling bark hidden beneath still holding canopy of brighter green, lighter than the shadow-green of pine.

                Thinking on a conversation of before, he asked to her, “Have you ever felt that?”


                “The presence of a Destiny, an affectation where, after, you are changed and find a clarity to what, before, existed unperceived?”

                She looked to the sky, feeling the evening breeze as the heat of sun-warmed mountainside drew winds of evening air across its face before settled into balanced still.  She perceived, more than saw, the changing of the first aspen leaves and, in subconscious, imagined them adorned in peak autumn splendor, momentary grandeur before they fell away and all their gold scattered upon mountains and the winds.

                All her life, she traveled.  It was adventures that brought transcendence, an elevation from everyday into discernment of a Greater.  Did transcendence come from place, experience, how they struck her in mind, or something else completely?  Why did she go?  What did she find?  If she ever found it fully, would the travel and searching stop?

                The sky changed every eve.  What made its unveiling different in changed vantage?

                She did not ignore his question, but absent worded answer, she gave the truest one she knew: a smile and shrug of shoulders—admission in unknowing and, also, reflex of the cooling winds on mountainside. 

                He smiled.  He held his words and mind for a moment, letting the quiet—something different than silence—of the mountain speak. 

                “I used to think Destiny must be sought,” he spoke, “that it had to be found, and won, and earned; and the harder I tried, the more meaningless it all seemed.  I chased war, traveled the world, sought wisdom in books—modern and old—and the more I tried, the less settled I became.”

                “Are you still that way?” she asked, staring at the gold that spilled out from mountain peak where sun had disappeared, spreading like molten metal pooling linear over sky, held in place by mountains beneath and red and violet frame above. 

                “No,” he answered plain.

                “What changed?”

                “I was affected.  I didn’t happen when I searched.  It didn’t happen when I sought to force or will something to be.  It just happened.  A revelation…”

                “What did you discover?”

                “That the more blind I was in focus on an end, the less I saw and experienced of the wonder all around.  The more I sought a purpose to make and will, the less I discerned the miracles and capriciousness of fate that possess potential to unfold at any moment, if we stay open to their revelations and receive; and, if we do, show and nudge us nearer to the purpose that appears—not of our design and will, but something else.”

                She smiled, knowing the experience without having words to say.  “That I understand,” she spoke, gazing on the sky’s proceeding transformation.  “Why overthink it?  Why force when what is meant will be revealed and provided when we are right and ready to receive?”

                She thought of her own seeking, her own travels driven by a sense without ever-spoken explanation.  Sometimes she found it, for a moment, but it was never the same again when returned to or replicated in company and condition.  Transcendence was ephemeral in tie to place and scene, and reflecting, she contemplated how sky would never show the same, exactly as it did in splendor and light and cloud-whisp accent, as it appeared just then.  Like every day’s ending, transcendence never returns and reveals precisely the same.

                He added in completion to her thought, “You search the whole world, and, one day, it’s there; right in front of you, undeniable and obvious and for all the years and effort you spent searching.  It is gifted, obvious and clear, out of the blue.”

                His last words hit, and through the cool of the mountain winds, her body warmed, wrapped in layers of shirt, woolen sweater, and coat.  The peak of crepuscule was passed, and in the after-tempering of glory, Heavens shone. 

                The sky reversed as infinitude of the Universe shone above, and in the immense emptiness of Universe, marked and broken in points of light, illumination became shadow, and darkness prevailing light.  In the shadow-light of stars, Heavens shone their depths, always further layer to be revealed when eyes, removed from false illumination—as they were on mountainside—became conditioned to better see.

                She stared on the immensity of the Cosmos, shown and revealed before her very eyes, the depths and outer reaches of the Milky Way lined and laid before her in spiral showing as slanted band in clear night sky.

                This was what she came to find, and there it appeared, never to be the same as right then in living moment of the present.  They stayed on the porch in the quiet of the mountains, absorbed the surrounding world as Heavens shined and spoke to them above.

                After, they turned into cabin.  With split and aged wood, he stoked a fire in the heart of a cast iron stove.  As fire took and set to burn, its heat breathed outward into room, filling it with warmth; and in the flicker-light of flame dancing through fluted grate, they made love with open freedom—transcendence of body and spirit gifted in embrace of the living present. 

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