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Friday. April 20th. 5pm.
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I ease my foot off the gas and let my car slow to a steady crawl as I wind my way up the mountain. Joggers and walkers and grandmas with their grandkids and pet owners with their dogs. All making the steady accent to the top with me. It’s a goregous spring day and my sunroof is wide open. I look up, over the rim of my sunglasses, and let the sunlight roll over my face.

My friends thought I was running a quick errand and returning in 20 minutes to the coffee shop when we were all gathered. But that was before I found the side road with the sign, “To the top of the mountain” at it’s entrance. Who can pass up a sign like that? And why would you want to?

As I round the final curve to the left and pull into the gravel parking lot, the view is already well worth the spontaneity, and I haven’t even gotten out of my car yet. Coming to the limp rope that marks the edge of the parking lot, I step over it and find a large, flat rock, warmed by an afternoon of baking in the sun. I cross my legs and take a seat, wondering about the countless others that have done the same. The sun still sits high in the sky, and below me the valley shines like a bowl of diamonds – bright light reflecting off of windows and signs and the tops of buildings. The city sits on the banks of a large lake, and the water lays lazily in the warmth of the day. I close my eyes and realize, though the city looks so large from my perch on the mountain, I can’t hear even one of it’s sounds from way up here. Instead, the birds nested in the trees behind me create the soundtrack for this moment, as they mix with the sound of running shoes on pavement and the purr of slow-moving car engines and of two friends laughing together at they walk further up the trail.

Sitting there with my eyes closed I smile, knowing there’s not a soul on the planet that knows I’m here right now. And for some reason, that makes me feel even more connected to this place. Like my presence here is a secret that we share. I take in the details of this moment and add it to the catalouge of experiences that shape the person I am, even though they aren’t shared with anyone but myself and the earth beneath my bare feet.

And it is perfect.

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