Discovering The Electric Mountain

I began to hike up a mountain yesterday in a new area, a valley that extends for at least 20 kilometers with a narrow pass, vertical cliffs, and dense, lush forest. The weather forecast was a light thunderstorm and intermittent rain, but as soon as I started going up, an avalanche of dark clouds rolled above me as if on cue to tell me that it was going to be all but “light.”

I hesitated. Something pulled me in while logic tried to push me out. There was a deafening silence in the forest. A negative pressure built up – as if the sky was sucking a vacuum into the woods. An intense electric charge straightened the hair on my arms, tickling my scalp. Tiny, soft light flashes popped left and right, and I had to blink my eyes to see if they were neuronal glitches or piezoelectric reality.

Puff. Piff. Pop!

The oxygen levels shot up, jacking my senses, and reddening my cheeks. It felt like the mountain was about to self-detonate with chi.

Bottom line. These were all clear clues to abort.

But my gut insisted otherwise.

“Just continue,” the microbes told me, “this one is going to pass.”

So I did.

One climber hurried down past me, warning me that the “big one is here.” He had professional gear and looked like a serious mountaineer, the type of silver-lined pro whose opinions we should respect in the wild.

At that moment, the clouds went into auditory mode as if to underline his point.

“Crack. Boom!”

But still, my little critters disagreed.

“I’m guessing it’s going to pass,” I answered the man and cackled at how silly I must have sounded.

He guffawed at the remark as he scampered down. A second later, he glanced back, worried I wasn’t joking.

The evidence, after all, was right above us, in visual and auditory dimensions.

“Crack-crack-boom-boom-you-little-fucka!” The sky went again.

“It’s the lingering kind,” my bugs responded nonchalantly, again.

“It’s not going to discharge. Continue up.”

Insane in the membrane, sane in the gut, I continued up.

I stepped deeper into negative space and time, enveloped by the collective charge of the forest, where everything thrived with ten times the amperage, a thousand times the voltage. Had anyone been in this space before?

I could hear the trees talking.

“An intruder! This electric world is ours.”

An hour later, they got used to me. I was received with a wooden consensus.

Together, we feasted on a Pacific of charged ions.

Three hours later, the sky still hadn’t discharged – although it kept threatening with cracking sounds and dark visual renderings, it never so much as let a drop fall on me.

When I finally returned to the car, she started pouring the minute I sat in. Hard.

She continued through the evening and the night, letting it all out.

That evening I glowed like a light bulb.

I still do.

Hail to the gut.