October has arrived, bringing with it the makings of a colorful landscape and cooler days. The flowers will be cut back this week and the beds prepared for what I hope will be a long, cold winter. Words are flowing and we're welcoming October with sunshine.
I took advantage of that and went up to Glacier Park yesterday morning. There is a small window between the end of tourist and when Going-to-the-Sun road closes, and we've been lucky that the weather has held. I love going up this time of year because the roads, at the right times of day, look like what you see below.
We managed to get up to the top with only a few cars ever showing up in the rearview mirror. Of course, I'm terrified of heights, so the drive up is a lot tougher to handle than the drive down when I'm closer to the cliff.
The view is certainly worth the terrifying fear, and I'm good once my feet are touching solid ground. Apparently, I trust Mother Nature more than I do my driving.
Peace and contentment wash over me every time I am in the mountains, which is why I live in a place surrounded by them. Sure, there's not much in the way of entertainment unless you like the outdoors, but that suits me just fine.
There is a scene in the current Gallagher book I'm writing where one of the characters finds herself enjoying a moment of pure contentment, and seconds later suffers some guilt for it. I won't, of course, reveal why she felt that way, but then I realized there have been times recently when guilt crept into my own mind.
Life is far from idyllic, for everywhere there is beauty there is hardship, and guilt is bound to touch us all at some point.
Brenna says it best when speaking with Alexandra: “Every moment of joy we can capture is in our right, be it one minute or one day." There is a lot more to the conversation, but I do believe that.
I believe it is within everyone's power, and is every person's duty, to bring as much light and joy into the world as possible. It does not mean life will always be rosy, for there must be balance, but we shouldn't shut out, worry over, or begrudge the good and happy times. They are precious.
This letter is brief because I still have much to learn from the Gallaghers, so I must return to them now. Spending time among them always makes me want to be a better person, which makes that time both exhilarating and mentally exhausting.
The new Gallagher book shifts the focus to show a broader view of the townspeople, and I'm seeing the Gallaghers and people of Briarwood in different ways than ever before. Their world is changing, and like me, some of our beloved Gallaghers do not handle big changes well. It will be interesting to see how things turn out between the family, Alexandra (new character) and our dear Doc Brody.
Be well, be kind, and keep hope.
"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." —Ralph Waldo Emerson
Going-to-the-Sun road is 49.71 miles if you drive the complete road, one way, and 32 miles from the west entrance to Logan Pass, which is what we drove.
It is reported that three men died in the construction of the road, which is surprising considering the magnitude of the project. Paving began in 1938, but was not completed until 1952 due to WWII. If you're inclined to learn more, give this a read: Going-to-the-Sun Road - An Engineering Feat