For one reason or another, we have been sorely in need of some wind on our faces. And for a host of other reasons, we just haven't been able to get the air to move.
Then this past weekend, it finally materialized... what is so often an almost elusive dream in China but was such a sweet and foundational part of my life pre-Asia... mountain air and waking up to the sound of rivers and a gust in the trees.
Getting outdoors here can often feel like rolling a boulder uphill. There is little to no infrastructure for camping, we are without a vehicle, and time seems always to be taken by commitments outside of our control. So as a plan finally took shape, and the morning came where we stood on a path overlooking peaks and valleys laid out below, I felt a little ridiculous that it could make me tear up, that something this simple could make me feel like we'd had some wind put back in our sails, and we would be okay.
It was misty and cool, which no one complained about even though it meant working a little harder to keep the fire going and hunkering down in the tents an hour early one night to avoid the drizzle. We played Rook, and listened to David McCullough's newest biography on the Wright Brothers, and told stories about the earliest years with our kids. Highlights of the few days for me were watching my crazy man and the kids after his own heart all take a freezing dip in the river, fresh pressed coffee while the sun came over the ridge, and hearing the kids talk about how cozy they were in their tent and pointing out every time a peak was shrouded in beautiful mist.
They don't solve every problem and heal every hard place in life, but surely these glimpses of grandeur and intimate encounters with the natural world breathe some kind of life into our souls we were made to be formed by. I just know I need that mountain air.
And the morning we left, the sun broke out, bold and strong and glorious.