Life Under Cloud & Sun

By: Lucas Throckmorton

The sun beats down on the snow-covered Colorado peak. Two birds have a lengthy conversation, chirping short replies at one another like two young children arguing over who was first in line. Marmots run and play chase, screeching often out of frustration or to mock the opposition. The wind blows, making a whistling sound. Moss and lichen cover the many rocks on the ground, like a blanket covering the mess in a child’s bedroom, only adding to the clutter. Small flowers also show themselves, but staying low, preparing to retreat from the harsh cold. The flowers and moss give the mountain great color, making it amazingly beautiful. No human could deny the mountain’s beauty under the sun, and the abundance of life would move you.

As the wind blows, clouds march across the sky, taking away both the sun’s warmth and light. Without the warmth and light of the sun, all of the animals quickly decide to search for refuge under the plentiful rocks and boulders. After the confusion and noise of the animals, many other sounds become apparent: the sound of the roaring waterfall far below, and then the stream that fed it; the beautiful music of the leaves rustling in the wind. Last came the conversation of two tired hikers, determined to reach the top of the gargantuan mountain.

Often, the animals could hear rocks sliding off the winding trail leading the hikers up the mountain side dropping miles down to the ground far, far below. Minutes slowly passed, like a drop of water coming out of a faucet that was just turned off. Finally, the hikers reached the peak.

Slowly, they walked to the nearest boulder, and instantly dropping to sit. Then, together, they breathed deeply, taking in the calming scent of the pine trees in the forests far below. The taller and more muscular of the two took off his pack, and unpacked their lunch. Slowly, they ate their sandwiches, then their yogurt, and then a bag of nuts and raisins. They then arose, walked to the ledge, and said together, “Wow. So unbearably cold, so unbelievably beautiful.”

Reluctantly, they took a step back onto the winding path, starting their long journey to the bottom of the towering mountain. Once they were gone, the clouds disappeared, and once again, the peak came to life. Ants crawled around the rocks, the birds flew high in the sky, and the marmots and other rodents resumed playing chase, under the warmth of the sun.