a descriptive landscape of genius loci
the smell of surrounding pines appears heightened in the crisp mountain air, mountains that exude an energy present only in such mass; invisible in the night though easily felt. there is a slight snowfall exerting a meek endeavor to further cover the hidden landscape – it does this constantly here as roads become caverns in a snow flooded plain. it is beautiful, powerful and intimidating all at once; what could be buried under all of this snow? the lanterns follow along with the road holding tightly around the curves trying not to be swallowed into the darkness, lead us through the night. my family travels here almost every year, we rest inside after having grumbled and maneuvered logs into the fireplace set ablaze. it isn’t necessary though as we had been sitting for hours along the way – a sense of past arduous travel has implanted itself firmly into our modern thought. we laugh together even as we understand the mystery of the food cans, bags of chips, yogurt containers and knock-off brands of Tupperware® burst with the pressures that we brought along with us – evidence of that long climb that still weighs upon us. we read after having settled down and before going to bed; my father always some kind of wartime novel featuring a bold blood red Nazi enigma as book art or referencing the US/Soviet conflicts of the Cold War - something rich with history - my sister and i having never succeeded in shaking off these absences have piles of textbooks read through the years as a timeline of our lives – elementary, middle school, high school the more recently collegiate material - to get through while my mother absorbs the rarity of the complete family together. we will sleep after having the traditional snack of kettle cooked popcorn and awake to a brilliant blue and spectacularly pure white horizon jagged along the mountaintops.