The Quiet Hills


It was ten o'clock in the morning yet because of the low hanging clouds the sunrise that began four hours earlier was still lighting up the southern and eastern horizons. Looking that way the bulk of Santiago Peak floated in a golden band. Turning 'round the more familiar peaks appeared, as they usually do, solidly grounded, not quite silhouetted against the white sky. I never tire of climbing each hill along this loop and pausing to take in whichever view of the mountains unfolds. It is one of the advantages of the solo ride; pauses can be whenever, wherever, and for however long I want. There is no rush to catch the group before they rumble down the trail, around the bend, out of sight.

It was a quiet morning, even at ten o'clock. Most of the people I shared trails with were afoot; few chains but my own, few shifting gears. Geese and ducks on the lake, the shore, were undisturbed by running dogs, raised voices. Typically we speak of silence falling, like a curtain, but I believe this morning it may have risen from the ground. I saw it obscuring lower Santiago Peak rising to meet the clouds in the sky, a narrow golden band of captured light between them. Surely that is where the sound was as well, contained, however briefly between silence rising, quiet falling.




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