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A Layer of Forest Floats Off

It never ceases to amaze me how specific any particular person's likes and dislikes can be. The other day Coffee Girl and I were mountain biking on the east side of the Santa Rita Mountains, south of Tucson, when we saw something that drives me a little crazy whenever I see it.

Ah well, the reader probably can't even tell what I'm praising. But it jumps out at me from miles away. Here's a close-up.

From a distance all you can see is something "funny." As you get closer, you get suspicious that it's nothing more than trees on a ridgeline, which appear to be delaminating from the earth. The most precious moment is just before you realize what you are looking at. Delamination isn't the most glamorous word. Delamination is what happens to paint on old wood.

Perhaps because you are looking up at it, and you are under the influence of endorphins, a nobler word seems more fitting; a word like 'evanescence.' The trees seem to be undergoing a "phase-change" from Material to Spirit. Now don't worry, I'm not going to get Platonic, mystical, or New Age-ish on you. But you have to let your imagination run in order to have fun in the mountains, unless you are newbie-enough to be content with a tourist/postcard level.

Many people are content to take mere prettiness and puff it up into "beauty". They shouldn't settle for that, when it is more interesting to think of some general idea that is expressed by what you are looking at. A brain -- not an eyeball -- is needed to see that kind of beauty. It makes outdoor trips a mental challenge, as well as a physical one.


XXXXX said…
Well, you have gotten a little mystical in spite of yourself, but you'll hear no complaints from me.
I don't think it's the brain though that sees that kind of beauty. But, no matter.
I can imagine that after being surrounded by the scruff of the desert for miles, and then coming upon trees (which most likely are living off of water coming from the mountaintop?) thrusting themselves upward toward the heavens, that the most likely reaction is the one you had. After all, you're not the first. Whatever elicits our sense of awe has been viewed throughout the ages as living in the mountaintops or the heavens. Churches have massive heights and gothic arches to reach to the heavens, to reach to the divine. It's kinda in our blood.
I do agree that most would just pass by consumed by their sense of business. Thanks for sharing the experience and the pics with a real purpose.
George, that's about all the mysticism you're going to get out of me. I remain an unreconstructed rationalist.