Of Forrests and Mountains

Four years ago I married a mountain man. He doesn’t look like the stereotypical mountain man- he’s clean shaven and doesn’t wear black and red plaid or own a blue ox- but he comes alive when he breathes that wild un-tamed air.

This past weekend we celebrated our anniversary in Sisters Oregon. His gift to me was a lovely night in a sweet Bed and Breakfast (and our room had a clawfoot tub!). Part of my gift to him was climbing the South Sister on Sunday. I wanted to summit that mountain for myself too, but mostly to see his face light up and experience that breathless beauty together.


That hike was far harder than I expected. I’ve been on plenty of hikes, I’ve gone backpacking, but this, this was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.


I could tell in the first two miles that I wasn’t ready for the steep inclines. By mile four I was shuffling. Mile five I was in pain but still somewhat determined. In mile six I was frozen and giving up hope, barely shuffling up the last stretch. We were so close, maybe a half mile from the summit. A hiker on her way down said we were maybe 20 minutes away. Jeff looked back at me and I just shook my head and started to cry. I wanted it so badly but I couldn’t.


He did the most perfect thing then. He leapt down to me, wrapped me close to his chest and prayed a prayer of thanksgiving over me. I just cried and warmed my nose in his chest.

That’s marriage right there: sacrifice, honesty, love, prayer. I am so blessed. I don’t deserve this mountain man.


Someday I will conquer that mountain, and I am confident that he will be no more or less proud of me on that day, because my husband loves me and, though he is imperfect, he daily shows me God’s love.


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