A View from the Top

The Clouds In My Eyes


Gordon Cherr, 


I don’t believe in God. No, that’s not right. I don’t not believe in God. No, that’s not quite right either. It is a manmade convention, but if it floats your boat, go right ahead. Just don’t use it as an excuse to bash someone else, or someone else’s God, know what I mean?

Then we get into the Blue Ridge and the enormity of it all floors me. It overwhelms me. It makes me dizzy. It shows me how tiny we are. A speck of dust on the hindquarters of a flea. I am confused. Who created such beauty, such perfection?

I ran up Senator Reynolds Mountain this morning. Up and down Sunset Mountain yesterday. My flatlander’s legs complain with the effort. 38 minutes to the uppermost peak. A gut busting hard, slow, steady effort. A 1000′ climb in barely two miles. The wind whips me and pushes me around. Then it stops only to shove me again. I don’t hear anything except my labored breathing. There is no one around except me. Finally the last climb comes into view as I inch my way along. It is agonizing. No one to complain to. No one with whom to commiserate. Alone.

I turn around to look at the majesty beneath me but cannot see anything, the clouds are in my eyes. Oh, yes. It is glorious, the clouds, the peaks, the shadows, the sunlight racing each other across the deep green valleys and up the mountain tops. Not a sound but for the wind singing in the tops of trees. Why does this scene make me so emotional?

I don’t believe in God, but running in the Blue Ridge, I do. It must be so.

The run downhill and back to the parking lot. My quads are going to be furious with me tomorrow morning. I don’t remember a thing. My watch says 25 minutes. I stand heaving for breath against my car.

I am so grateful sometimes for my life, my wife, my children, my grandchildren, my friends. For you and for me.

It is in the deep verdant green valleys and in the tall rocky mountain peaks. In the swift running streams, the shrieking birds, the growling bears, the hoot of an owl and the gentle flutter of a butterfly. In the rhododendrons and oaks, spruce and balsam fir. Be thankful for your life and thankful for the lives of the others who complete you. Don’t be alone.

I am running in the Blue Ridge again. So many clouds are in my eyes.