There are some places on this Earth that take your breath away. These places have a way of transporting you to an enlightened place in your soul that you could never really explain to anyone who hasn’t shared that experience. One such place for me is the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park up from Estes Park, Colorado.
Estes Park is an Alpine town that made my heart ache for the time I spent in Germany. It made me feel like I was in a Fairy Tale and I wouldn’t have been surprised to see magical creatures emerge from the woods. This is the entrance to the National Park. You enter the threshold of one of the most beautiful places on this planet. You continue up, and around, up, and around, and up.
There are places to pull off the road and stand in the mountainous glory of unadulterated nature. I felt small. I felt so small and inconsequential. I was a speck of dust in this magnificent universe. The freedom one finds from realizing fully that life is so big and we are so small is breathtaking. None of my problems mattered. None of my insecurities meant anything. I am a part of something so perfect that all I need to do is to accept my place in this world. Nature isn’t around us….it is US. The one song..the Uni-verse that pulses like music as we sway to the silent rhythm gives us peace.
There are plaques to stand on and you can turn to the East or to the West. This ridge is the highest point in the US. You feel like you can see the entire world swirling around you. You can look down and see the clouds in the distance below you with the sunshine reflecting back up into the sky. The Continental Divide is the line in which all water is divided into two separate basins. If you are standing in the center of the divide and facing the north, all the rain to the right of you will make it’s way into the Atlantic Ocean. All the rain to the left of you will make it’s way (in theory) into the Pacific Ocean.
Do you want to hear a class of Earth Science students giggle? Teach them about the Continental Divide and tell them that there are no out-houses up there. From experience, I can tell you that it gets the boys thinking. Silly boys.