Updated: Mar 16, 2019
Nights like this remind me of solitude. Biting wind flowing through clear, cold nights void of sound. But this is Memphis, any moment void of sound is soon after broken by sirens or a car speeding by blaring some genera of music I’ve never heard. After that, I go right back to remembering I’m not in the Cascades or Joshua Tree.
I’m slowly adjusting to Memphis, I think. Maybe I’m just transfixed on the knowledge I’m going back to the Northwest for part of the summer – thinking about it, that’s probably it. I’ve always lived somewhere where I can see the mountains, where good climbing is only a couple hours away. Memphis isn’t like that. People here don’t see the daunting relief of Mount. Rainier rising 13,000 feet out of the Puget Sound or cut their eyes against the jagged skyline of granite peaks in the Cascades or Sierra Nevada’s.
It’s hard to appreciate something you’ve never experienced. If you’ve never stood at the foot of an overwhelmingly enormous glaciated peak at one in the morning under a cosmic sky, you won’t quite have the understanding to appreciate the desire and drive to stand on the summit of one. But for me, there is a flip side to this coin. In Memphis, everyone is a Grizzlies fan; you will never understand the feeling of a Grizzlies game unless you’ve been at a game when the fourth quarter buzzer rings. Truth be told, I’ve never been to a Grizzlies game.
But how does this all relate to the fact the wind chill is single digits? Not everyone has the desire to stand on a summit, just as I don’t have the desire to go to a Grizzlies game. That doesn’t mean its any less meaningful of an experience for those people. Moments like this remind me of solitude because that’s what they are. Not all solitude is experienced in the mountains.
Maybe I am adjusting to Memphis.