A volunteers POV

2008-09-16 15:32:06.000 – Melissa Rudin,  Summit Volunteer

This mornings undercast.

Even though I grew up in a suburb just outside of Chicago I have never considered myself to be a city person. However now that I live in Maine, the extremes of Chicago weather is what I miss most. Some of my fondest memories as child are of my Father and me sitting on the back porch watching intense lightning displays. Even now as a photographer, weather continues to captivate me and it is what I find so alluring about Mount Washington.n

nI feel fortunate not only for having been a volunteer this week, but also for this chance to share some of my thoughts and experiences. It is sometimes difficult for me to put my thoughts into words; perhaps that is why take such comfort in the medium of photography. Over the last week, I have taken a great deal of pictures and I would like to share the ones that I feel most effectively communicate the inspiring nature of the Mount Washington Observatory and the surrounding White Mountains.n

nVertigo: To pay the rent I work the night shift as a corrections officer. Wednesday morning invited me with sun and blue skies, however I found my body struggling to adjust to the time difference. Even though the summit was in the clouds, they seemed to be an inviting clouds. After making our way up the auto road , it was soon apparent that that enchanting cloud had deceived me. As soon as we got out of the van we were inundated by winds of up to 50 mph, wind chills of 20 degrees and ice. It made unloading and loading the van intense. By the end of the day I had felt like my life had been turned upside down.n

nFlow: There is something very comforting about the natural flow of nature. It almost seems to piece together effortlessly, however one must stop from time to time to truly admire this intricate process of ebb and flow.n

nCommon Ground: For years people have traveled up and down the cog railway. We can share experience together, or we can bring our experiences together. Seemingly different at first glance, my fellow volunteer Franca and I have found that we have many experiences that run parallel. Whether it be our experience with preparing food or ballet.n

nReverence: Sometimes I can not help but stand back and be in awe. It gives a sense of purpose and peace.n

nProspects: It is experiences such as this that give me a certain sense of hope. Something to look forward to as well as something to look back to.n

nI know that there is a part of me that this place has changed for the better. It is my hope that I have done something here to reciprocate that gift. The observers and staff of the Mount Washington Observatory have given me a precious opportunity of which I am truly thankful for. I know that tomorrow I will leave this place with a certain sense of calmness in my heart.


Melissa Rudin,  Summit Volunteer

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