One of my fondest early memories of Ann was on a backcountry climbing trip in Wyoming. That trip ignited our love story. We found ourselves laying out in our sleeping bags on thick mountain grass, counting shooting stars one evening. How fun it was to enjoy them together. Sometimes they would clear the entire sky. I remember the air being crystal clear that night and the only sound came from a stream a few feet away; everyone else was fast asleep.
Click Play to hear ‘Just a Kiss’.
[audio:http://wildlovestory.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/02-Just-a-Kiss.mp3|titles=Lady Antebellum – Just a Kiss]
The Cirque has a valley floor elevation of 10,500 feet and is completely shielded from any city lights for hundreds of miles. I remember the Milky Way being so bright that it literally cast shadows. The mountains looked impressively jagged silhouetted against the sparking sky. I had been to this rugged place a half dozen times before, but I had never found it so beautiful as I did when Ann was there. It was like now that she was there the beauty of this place came alive. I remember thinking to myself, “Until now, this beautiful valley has felt unexplainably incomplete.” That night I leaned over and gave her a small starlit kiss on her cheek.
I remember wondering to myself if Adam realized that he was alone in Eden. The Garden was obviously incomplete without Eve, but I wonder if Adam could have articulated his longing for Eve after naming the animals. I’m not sure if he could, but God sure knew what Adam’s needs were. He knew that the Garden and even His own relationship with Adam were not going to be enough for Adam. Eve unmistakably crowned the creation. She was no afterthought. She was the final touch that brought the entire Garden to full bloom. I mean, how fun would it be to experience all the wonderful aspects of the Garden alone? That would not be near as amazing as having a beautiful woman to appreciate it all with. The best parts of my life have been enjoying places and new experiences with my wife. It is so obvious to me that God designed our world for lovers. He certainly would never have made it to take our breath away if he didn’t have a love story in mind.
I was looking back at one of my journal entries from this trip in the summer of 2006, and though I don’t mention Ann, listen to how vibrantly the scene was painted. The scene was more beautiful than ever before.
At this very moment I am in the most sublimely beautiful and powerfully grand place in God’s creation. A place that is far concealed from the eyes of the civilized man. The Cirque has haunted me from my youth. God’s voice is ever so clear here, like a stream to the deeper regions of my soul. A place where my true character and lack thereof are exposed to the few souls who venture out with me. A place where beauty clashes with power in the most magnificent way. Where fields of mountain flowers, cool streams, humming birds, and mule dear graze below sheer granite walls, forboding glaciers, and boulder fields. The valley is the most beautiful after a raging mountain storm. It is in this place that my heart finds refuge and life. It is on these walls that I am reminded of my true identity, the one that I long for and yet fear the most.
I had made the eleven mile hike into the Cirque of the Towers six or seven times prior to this trip, and yet I had never experienced it like I did that summer. It was as if this beautiful place was made to frame Ann and was incomplete without her.
We love the Wind Rivers so much that we hope to build a sustainable rock climbing program that takes people of all ages into the Cirque of the Towers. We are in the beginning stages of creating DangerousIdentity.com, and hope to see this project take off more in the future.
Ann and I are planning a trip into the Cirque of the Towers this August. If you would like to join us on a rock climbing adventure, let us know 😉