Denes McIntosh: Tears of gratitude |

Denes McIntosh: Tears of gratitude

I stood on top of a mountain one morning and surveyed the granite lake below.

A wind was blowing constant across the water raising waves no higher than a foot or so, but aligned with one another in perfect duplication as if an artist filled a canvas with the same stroke of a brush a hundred thousand times until he ran out of space to paint. I saw evidence of the wind moving across the lake but (like love) could not see the wind itself, only the evidence of its existence.

I moved my eyes toward a peak to the east that rose another thousand feet above the one upon which I was standing. I scanned the granite mountainside while drinking in the splendor of its uncommon strength and beauty. I took humble notice of the sea of boulders scattered, seemingly, so indiscriminately across the slope as if they’d fallen willy-nilly from the heavens, taking root, as it were, in the granite earth.

Wind-worn and time-tested pine trees bent their aging knees in homage to the sky, reaching rugged branches toward the sun, growing astoundingly from out of the ancient rock as if to prove that their survival was just a matter of will. And perhaps it was. Perhaps it was.

My dog, Hombre, breathed deep to fill his lungs with the high mountain air, as if inhaling helium from a living balloon, as if collecting the best of his surroundings to take home as a remembrance of this very sacred place.

Hombre paused in wonder, temporarily foregoing his role as guide and protector to acknowledge and appreciate the moment, to be mystified and amazed by the grandeur. I stood in awe of the majesty of God, in gratitude for my life, for the wonderful creature that is my dog, and for the remarkable place that I’d been given to partake of.

I allowed, for the first time in a long time, tears of gratitude to leak from my tired eyes, to roll down my weathered cheeks as if it were the first time I had ever encountered such amazing grace.

Denes Mcintosh lives in Grass Valley.

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