2013-01-08 18:34:40.000 – Neil Lovett, Summit Volunteer
Neil standing on the summit.
The late, great Kurt Vonnegut Jr. once wrote: ‘I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.’
I came to Mt. Washington in the winter to live by the edge. Make no mistake, here, you are not communing with nature, you are merely baring witness to a power to which you, as an individual, or we as a society have absolutely no control over. You can watch in awe as the mountain joins forces with the sun to reveal itself to the outside world by violently ripping away shields of fog, snow, ice and cold, but you can do nothing to influence it. You can enter the world of the powerful winds that patrol and control the summit, but never for a minute can you lay claim to a partnership with it; for if you do, and you lose respect for its dominance, it will crush you. Each time you open the steely-cold-ice and snow encrusted door that leads from the Observatory to the summit A-frame, you are treated to a brand new natural wonder, a world that forces you to change the way you view everything. As a member of the Observatory, you have a unique chance to be part of this experience. And I recommend taking advantage of the opportunity.
I want to thank the good people, and true world class professionals of The Mount Washington Observatory for allowing me to live with them and watch the work they do. I considered it a privilege to have helped to sustain them in their quest to forecast, record, and educate the rest of us on what goes on here. It allowed me another opportunity to find a way to live closer to the edge.
Neil Lovett, Summit Volunteer