Kedarnath

 Kedarnath peak, photographed at sunset from Ukhimath village, March 2015.

Kedarnath peak, photographed at sunset from Ukhimath village, March 2015.

This mountain is my beloved. He is my friend, my father. My love of the Himalayas started
here, with him. I have watched in tear-filled silence as he catches the rays of the rising sun,
seen him bathed by the full moon’s light and understood why the ancient sages tell us Shiva
shines like a silver mountain. And I have seen him, as shown here, in all his molten sunset glory.
I sometimes feel I could mark time with his darshan, because each return to his presence is like
another birthday: to others just a random point along an orbit, but full of meaning for you.
Because something of you entered a new world at this place in space. Of course, I realize that
the words will never come, ones that can communicate, that can express with even one wisp of
accuracy what the moments near this mountain have meant to me. And even to describe what I
have felt each time as I was leaving, and turned around one more time to look over my
shoulder to drink in that last, final glance—even then, the deep sentiments slip right through
this mesh. When it comes to darshan, to divine encounters like this, after all the words have
fallen at our feet, all we can do is fall at the feet of the encounter itself, which is to fall at the
feet of the One encountered, and to find ourselves here, again, at this place in space. Best
"birthday" ever.