“When your sister first saw these mountains, she sat down almost in this exact spot and stared for twenty minutes. Several times, I thought to disturb her, ask if she was fine, if she wanted to go someplace else, there was so much to see, but each time I would look in her face and see the awe in here eyes, the misty tears that she was barely able to hold back. She finally reached up, brushed them away, and looked at me.
‘Thank you’, she said, ‘for bringing me here.’
“I was reminded then of the beauty in the world that we often ignore. I have tried, since that morning, to always be mindful of what is around me. Every day, I find something amazing, something that strikes me and I make sure I pay attention, I write it down, take a picture, something to make it stay. Finally, I share it with someone else. More often then not, they look at me like I’m insane, intruding, they ignore me, but every once in a while, someone else gets it and we share something powerful. I like how that feels.”
Laura looked at him, trying to decide how to tell him what she had come all this way to say. She knew this story, having heard it directly from the lips of her twin, Lena, when she returned home. That was seven years ago and so many things were different now. Martin and Lena were divorced. She had left him less than a week after the trip to these mountains. Lena had described the agony in her heart as she sat, looking up and out at the harmony of the world as it presented itself to her. She was unhappy in her marriage, unhappy with her life and here he was showing her how wonderful the world could be. Lena wanted that happiness, that powerful feeling and she knew it could not be found where she was.
Lena told her how that poignant moment let her decide. “Right there, in what I can only describe as being in the direct presence of God, I determined and committed to being honest with myself and with my family, especially Martin. It broke my heart to think his bringing us here, his attempt at helping us be closer together would be the catalyst for my decision.” Lena would not lie to him any more, she would not continue to be the source of his sadness.
But this was no secret. Her separation from Martin was predicated by this very conversation. What she now held in her chest, the words that she had flown across the country, they caught in her throat. All her conviction, her determination, her absolute certainty, they seemed less concrete now as they stood together, staring up into the face of God. She was no longer sure that Martin needed to hear this.
The wind blew a bit heavier down the front of the mountains, slightly chilled in the waning summer day. Soon enough the leaves would change, another summer would grow old and die. The winter would arrive in its harsh indifference, carrying its own beauty. Everything always in spirals, moving out and forward. Martin moved a bit to the right, putting his hands in the front pockets of his jeans, a light smile working itself across his face. A cloud brushed across the sun, shading everything, muting the colors. He was remembering, she thought, remembering and loving that memory. That was enough for her. He needed to know.
“Martin,” she said, her breathing faster, her heart about to push through her t-shirt. “There is something you should know.”
He turned and faced her.