GREEN MOUNTAIN HIGH
Every morning I take McGee for his poo-poo-pee-pee walk and this morning was no exception. When we stepped outside, a pock-marked half-moon glowed in a lavender sky and the air was as crisp as the snow. We usually walk to a nearby lake but because of the heavy snowfall yesterday, we headed the opposite way towards Green Mountain. Since cancer hit about 3 years ago and ever since then, I've had one foot on the grave and the other on a banana peel, Green Mountain looked as ominous as Mount Everest.
Clayton Clark's house is situated on the top of Green Mountain and I used to visit him occasionally when we were both in about the same condition; a light breeze could have blown us over, and come to think of it, when I was undergoing treatments and stepped out of a car in St. John's, a gust of wind blew me over. There I was lying flat on my back counting raindrops falling in my face. I used to kid him about having a race to the top of the mountain and we figured it would take about a week for either of us to get to the top and like sherpas on Everest, someone would have to carry us.
Now Green Mountain isn't anything like the toon portrays; quite the opposite in fact. And, it's hardly a mountain, more like a steep hill with a road that stretches up it and beyond to Forest City (hardly a city - doesn't have one store or even a gas station) more like a subdivision on the US border.) But fortunately, it's still green, that is until it's clear-cut like a lot of land around here. (Sniffle, sniffle) Makes my heart break every time I see semi's rolling by with a load full of baby-trees - they certainly haven't matured.
I don't know what possessed this achy back and stiff legs but as I planted one foot in front of the other towards Green Mountain, next thing I knew they just kept on a going, McGee happily pooping and peeing along the way. When I reached Clayton's place and looked at the window where he often sat, sadness surged through me like a burst dam because my friend is no longer with us - he passed away less than a year ago. He had a heart of gold and was the first person who greeted us on the day we moved in - even helped us get the pump working so we'd have water.
The view from the mountain is quite spectacular. East Grand Lake lies below and camps (hahaha - if that's camping, I sure did something wrong when I hiked the West Coast Trail with a pup-tent on my back) they circle the lake like settler's covered wagons. I like the way it is at the lake now - don't have to listen to the continual drone of seadoos, party boats and motor boats and then if you can believe this, fireworks at night. What I don't understand is why cityfolk always bring the city with them and it's odd when I hear them say, "I like to get back to Nature."
Not sure when I'll walk up Green Mountain again - I know it won't be on a windy day - why hell, I could get blown clean away...cheers, eh!
Len Sherman is an artist and author in Fosterville, NB, Canada. He spent his first 70 years on the west coast of Canada and now resides with his wife and little dog on 50 rural acres in western NB. Life is good, but even better when you read his work or view his art!