There is a force in nature. It is called Nature. I was recently reminded of the power of nature and the Rocky Mountains. It is not unique to the Rockies, that’s just my context.
I warn people of the power of nature as I lead Jeep runs and trips and take what would be considered a silly amount of things in my trunk when taking guests into the mountains. But there is a reason.
It was less than a month ago that a young man lost his life while camping and fishing due to weather coming in that overwhelmed his resources. We could say well, they should have done this or taken that, but deaths from exposure in the Rocky Mountains is not rare.
The weather was severe, but not when they left to go fishing and camping. The weather overwhelmed two young men in the vital health of their life, and one of them is gone. The other had to abandon his brother after watching him die, not able to prevent it. In doing so he saved his own life.
Mother’s day brought with it an amazing range of weather: snow, sleet, hail, thunder, lightning, pouring rain, gusting winds, and sun. Down in the plains, there was tornado warnings and a funnel cloud. This is May.
Today, the day after, it is sunny and 65 and the Bikini top on my Jeep makes more sense. Today it is easy to look west and see beauty in the mountains. Today is one of those days no one would prepare for weather. So was Friday.
There is beauty in risk. There is beauty in extremes. There is also beauty and confidence in understanding and being prepared. As I head into the mountains I take foul weather gear. I take winter jackets and gloves and spare socks. Yes, socks. I like to have warm feet.
I don’t fear bad weather. I don’t fear death. But I see no reason to invite it. I have much to live for and plans have been made. But nature will remind us when we forget who is in-charge. We live sheltered. I watch the animals, mostly birds, to see what’s next with weather. As rain starts to taper off, if no birds are flying, it’s not over.
I live near the Rockies and I respect them. Respect is not as hard as people act like it is. It is easier to assume than to respect. Weather will remind you that respect is easier than assumption in the end.
On the same mother’s day, a pair of old friend’s from high school got notification from search and rescue the body of their father was found. He had fallen and passed away in the woods. It was warm and sunny when he died. No one knew he was missing for 5 days. He had already passed by that time.
It is a sunny day in the Rockies today. It is better to understand than assume. Nature will remind you eventually.