It was not strictly a climb, but
a long, strenuous, nearly vertical
hike to thirty eight hundred feet
where the trail emerged from the trees
to reveal a magnificent view.
Ahead, a giant rock ledge hung
over the precipice, on which you
could sit dangling your legs over,
if you dared.
I was at that age when one
thinks he is indestructible
and will never die, so I dared.
The peaceful valley stretched below,
its trees seeming like miniatures
fashioned for the model of a forest.
God was alive then, too;
his voice rumbled in the distant west
and rolled over the panorama.
I felt like a king surveying
his domain; serene and content.
But this was many, many years ago
before anyone I loved
had yet died.
Causes Stephen Kata Supports