Life and All the in Between

by Hannah Dailami

Light: the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.

King’s Peak is the first place to see the light in Utah. It reaches 13,528 thousand feet above sea level and hides away from the urban world. When the sun shows itself on the peaks, the light shines brightly on the dew and changes things. It is silent in the high Uinta Mountain range. Not a single sound can be heard, but the world beginning to awaken.

The sun comes up now. Its vibrancy crests precariously behind the purple mountainside, only enough though, to show it’s there but hidden just the same. The beautiful light seems to stay there for much longer than necessary. It doesn’t want to come out and be seen, but instead wants to be mysterious. The sun wakes up and the morning rises. It condemns the night owls.

The sun shines in through the windshield as I’m taken to school. The car ride holds an eerie quiet today. My mom isn’t telling me something and I can tell. I can always tell. Last time she told me about an abnormality in her mammogram, and the time before that about my grandpa’s failing health. My throat wants to ask the question, but it hurts too much to speak. The early morning atmosphere is tight and constricted. The air still holds onto sleep and the feeling of calm. Yet, I know that there will be no sign of sleep. Instead, I can hear a secret being whispered and lost in our muttered translation. I love secrets, but this time it feels quite different.

Work: activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.

Some say that being a mother isn’t work; mothers just wake up and take their children to school. The rest of their day is spent sitting eating bonbons and watching soap operas. Mothers do more than that though. They are the mother: the person who watches, cares for, and teaches children to be good people. They are left with the responsibility to build and create little beings who become adults in the real world.

She tells me that she wants to get a job again. She needs help putting her resume together. She feels like she isn’t doing enough to help my dad financially. She feels like she needs to take some of the load off. She turns 46 this year and he grows closer to 61. Their age hasn’t always mattered, but she worries that her social security won’t be enough to sustain her when my dad finally leaves for good. She needs a job. I think I’m mad at her for this.

The hike up to King’s Peak stretches 16 miles just one way. The trail opens at the base of a mountain with deep lines of erosion running laterally. The small lakes and subtle tree lines showcase the best of the world. The snow stays on the mountain well into summer, with a slight breeze touching down on the wildflowers. Sweat from the nape of the neck keeps the air cool. The long hike was worth the journey.

Mother: a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth; bring up (a child) with care and affection.

My mother used to wake us by tickling our tired bodies. She turned on our bedroom lights in the winter and opened the blinds in the spring. The light flooded our unconscious minds and pushed us to begin to awaken. We anticipated the laughing and smile while pretending to be asleep. Our day became better when we woke up like this.

I always imagined myself as a mother one day. I’m not even close to marriage, yet I’ve picked out names that I like. I think this act of insanity is the result of something girls do when we are young; much like the cliché pairing of our crush’s last name with our first. So I always wanted to be a mother.

There is someone who resides on King’s Peak. She talks to the animals; they are slightly more comfortable with humans than should be natural. She touches all the individual leaves on the trees and runs her fingers through the stubbly grass. The high Uinta Mountain ranges is not kind to the faint at heart, yet she is comfortable here. Mother Nature belongs.

Aging: the process of growing old.

The sun is setting now as I exit the library and head towards the waiting red car. The vibrancy that once was in the air is gone. It dissipated this morning when the day began, and the new is suddenly old.

My mother has grey hair. I always thought it was understandable for my father to show signs of aging, but never for my mother. She still laughs the same but now she wants to get a job. She seems the same underneath but her surface is beginning to change. I think she is becoming like my father; serious and stressed. Things have altered for her. She needs an outlet.

The leaves on King’s Peak are changing colors and the temperature is dropping. The blanket of dew is now a heavy coat of wet cold. The winter is moving in with a swift wipe, leaving hiking and climbing only for the strong at heart. The season is changing and moving quickly in a new direction. It is no longer green and alive, but will consist of a white steadiness.