Chapter 10 - "to cry over beauty"

Glory divine. Glory defined. That’s what real mountains are. Pictures turn them into a pigmy image of the real thing. A dwarfed duplication. A cheap replica. Something you’d see inside the jacket of a peddler on the crowded streets of New York City. Gucci…yeah right! You can slap logos on counterfeits, but you get what you pay for. You always get what you pay for.

And the cost of this trip only went to prove that. The diesel cost was over $4.00 a gallon in every state we frequented. The odometer showed over 1,500 miles and we were still hours from our destination. We had one sleepless night under our belt, and I wasn’t expecting much different in the nights ahead. I was taking 6 days off from work. I left my wife home with three girls under the age of eight. Across the board, a price was being paid for this experience. You get what you pay for every single time…and we were paying for nothing short of REAL. We didn’t want photographs or secondhand stories; we wanted to be eyewitnesses of the majesty. And every bit of cost incurred upon seeing those mountains became worth it all in one moment’s time. The rapture that filled my starving soul was priceless. The nourishment came so fast and furious that it felt like my spiritual stomach had shrunken so severely that I couldn’t ingest it all. My insides were so desiccated that beauty, at the rate I was experiencing it, couldn’t be digested fast enough. It started spilling over and pouring out my eyes.

It’s an amazing feeling to cry over beauty. Not tragedy or tension or trials. Not heartbreak or heartache, but heartthrob. An Edenic instinct kicks in and sends a tingling sensation down your spine like an electrical impulse that finally finds its spiritual socket. Its source. A tear forms in the corner of your eye and you can’t keep it from happening. You’re not making it happen either. That’s when you know something mystical is occurring. Mystical defined is something that you can’t make happen or keep from happening. You simply get to share a moment with eternity. It calls the shots. It directs the traffic. There aren’t enough times in my life when I’ve had this sort of experience. Most of the time I’m making something happen or keeping something from happening. That could even be most people’s definition of life. A laborious straining to hold things together. An ongoing stressing to create something ex nihilo. It gets old. It’s gets cold. It grows mold.

But when your insides start telling your outsides something, you listen. I’ve always thought that tears are the mouth of the heart. They speak the unspoken. They convey the unspeakable. All the wordless wonder within gets a chance to burst forth like a geyser. I especially like it when I don’t feel the pressure to wipe those tears aside in embarrassment….when I can just let them run until they drip off my nose or chin, or until they evaporate right off my face or neck. Why do we wipe tears away but for others? Why do we seek to rid ourselves of their cleansing baptism? Why not savor the saline, tasting the truth in those tears? I don’t think tears were meant to be wiped away. Especially when those tears are caused by beauty.

You have to pay the price to pursue your passion. I learned that in college from one of my buddies. And it’s true. You get what you pay for. But this time, we were getting more than we were paying for. All you had to do is look up, gaze upon the nearing mountain range, feel the tears coming to your eyes…and you knew deep down, there are some things that money can’t buy. They are priceless. Mountains are one of those things. Whatever you pay to get to see them with your own eyes could never be worth more than you exerience. At least that’s what my tears were saying to me.


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