An Ode to Marty, the Mount Washington Feline Sage
2013-03-19 22:58:18.000 – John Bauhs, Summit Volunteer
Marty the Feline Sage.
It was a gusty Tuesday morning when I looked out the window through the icy glass and discovered 3 inches of snow had fallen. Overnight, the glistening powder kicked up a blizzard that slammed the summit leaving heavy drifts. The microwave towers and out-buildings were painted with a delicate white veil. Weather like today interrupts normal thought and manipulates your senses.
Marty walked into the weather room. He’s a fine cat and a confident master of this place in the clouds. His tail swishes back and forth, like a furry indicator visually representing the variable winds outside. He does this, and other meteorological feats, with no obvious effort…he’s that good! Sometimes, I enjoy sitting with him and watching his methods. The light outside and inside made the barrier to the harsh elements disappear, while the clouds and snow enveloped us peacefully and stopped time. We sat on a cloud in silence for nearly an hour, then the shroud underneath us got thinner and we could see the valley below. Soon after that, Marty meowed, as if to say ‘later,’ and jumped onto a different cloud. I tried to see the earth, but the shroud was solid again.
The mountains in our mind begin as gradual hills, visible from a distance as gentle, purple, hazy things, like clouds. They seem inviting. They are slow mountains, the kind you can walk up easily like walking up a hill, but they are hills that take a full day, a week, or a lifetime or more to climb. Memories, as mountains, can be hidden through the mist, the rain, the fog, or the snow. Yet the acts of emotional effort and taking to high ground and windswept ridges provide the gifts of vision and understanding.
Up on this mountain, Marty is the one who bears witness to the palace of weather whose vast walls extend as clouds from horizon to horizon. Take heed from the alpine wisdom of this feline sage on the summit of Mount Washington where the mind can see forever.
John Bauhs, Summit Volunteer