And so we proceeded believing in our success, something we could own like a red gem for the lapel.

All the way up through pine, now turning to aspen, all along the trail, the cold creek hollering each of our names.

All along the fern-bordered creek until we reached hip-high grass and the end of trees and the beginning of water under scree.

All of us looking up at the thousands of feet still to go, beyond the scree, beyond the ice field, the hidden lake behind it with its fifty native trout.

All of us silent before an open door to the moment inside this one, the moment that looks just like this one, under the same brief patches of cloud.

Each of us wondering where the others had gone, even as we saw their bodies studding the meadow of wildflowers and cress.

Each of us knowing something, not us, had opened the door to this blueness, this light on the back of the hand, the mountain rising in front of us not like something we would wear in the end but the thing that might carry us, in our tiny packages of breath, to the great dance.