Place Where You Live:

Saranac Lake, New York

These days, I call the Adirondack mountains of Northern New York home. Traveling in any direction can lead to untamed, forested wildernesses, serene ponds or, surprisingly, civilization. Even with popular tourist destinations within the forest, there are still places where the adventurous can retreat; places where the old growth forests reside and humans just visit. Though my mailing address is not in these remote areas, these areas are where I feel most comfortable, most at home.
One day, surrounded by nothing but eerie silence, I sat atop a lonely mountain. Free from irksome distractions, I drifted off into one of those sleep-like trances, awake to my subconscious but not to the physical world. A man floated up the trail eventually, taking me off guard by asking, “So what are you doing up here besides watching the world go by?” Confused by my lack of a definite answer, the man headed back down the trail. What was I doing? Just watching the world go by, biding my time until something tangible summoned my return? Instead of returning back to town as well, I turned to the trees.
From their posts, the mountain ash have been watching days drift by since the forest fires in the early part of the last century created room for them to grow. Removing myself from the bare rock and setting up camp along the trees allowed me to see the world go by, not through my eyes, but through theirs.
On this day, not even the clouds seemed to be moving, as if frozen at the hands of some omnipresent being. Life perpetually moves forward; it never holds still for any given amount of time, or revisits a past moment, except in memory. On that secluded mountaintop, however, life wasn’t moving forward. The world wasn’t going by. It’s as if the force in the universe that keeps everything moving forward toward the future has some sense of humility, the ability to acknowledge that we all need a minute to just be.