The landscape in my neck of the woods is flat and you can see the sky go all the way to the ground. There are few trees until you meet the tree line and then the further you go east the scenery drastically changes. The house I grew up in was located right where the trees met the prairie so I had the best of both worlds. You would not describe the landscape as rocky or hilly. Very much the opposite but there were boulders scattered here and there left behind by the glaciers. The province of Manitoba was once completely under water during the prehistoric times so it’s not uncommon to find giant boulders in the middle of nowhere.
There’s one giant boulder I have visited many times along the forest trail. It’s located near the end of the trail loop close to the pipeline. A hike through the bush was never complete without a stop at Big Rock as we called it. When I was little this rock was like a mountain to me. Each visit my brother and I would pretend to be mountain climbers and try to reach the top. Usually by holding onto a nearby tree, vine or Dad, we’d scramble to the top. During the winter we usually had a better chance of making it up ourselves since the nice blanket of snow helped us climb.
It felt like you could see everything from the top of Big Rock. The forest seemed so endless and massive. The achievement of sitting on Big Rock was the most important thing at that moment in time. It was a great feeling. Once we took it all in and the fun started to wear off from the accumulating mosquito bites, we’d slide down the side of Big Rock into a pile of snow or Dad’s arms.
As we grew Big Rock started to feel less big and exciting. You can still look across the bush and see it coming up in the distance and it isn’t quite the mountain reaching to the sky as I had once imagined it. But it still feels like an old friend. It’s become a little ritual to climb to the top and I always feel different each time I visit. Not just the difference of size over the years but also my perspective on life. Big Rock was like a growth chart and each visit was a mark on the wall.
The mountains of today will one day by the hills of tomorrow.