Yesterday, my 50-something year old co-worker mentioned to me that the most incredible sight he ever witnessed was seeing the sun rise on the Rocky Mountains as he drove from Calgary to Banff one day. He said the way the light coloured the snow was like nothing he had since before, or has since.
I thought that was fantastic. I liked that my co-worker was sharing something so intimate and personal, and also that his choice was something emotionally powerful that I could relate to. I mean, he could have said, “I saw some titties on a yacht during spring break down in Cabo one time, that was fucking unreal,” in which case I would have responded by glowering at him with cold hatred. I think a lot of people would say something comparably idiotic so I was really pleased he said something thoughtful and honest instead.
Then it got me thinking about the most incredible sight I’ve ever witnessed, and I really don’t know what it is. Off the top of my head, I can list a ton of things: the playa at Burning Man at night; the fish ladders on Koksilah River in the summer; Snoqualmie Falls; sunset off the west coast of Washington State (once at Cape Flattery, and once at a random spot on the 101 just southwest of Raymond); watching ice and snow tumble off of mountains at the Edith Cavell glacier in Jasper National Park; numerous sunsets on Kauai; the view from the Woss Lookout; rolling waves of mist cresting over Sayward Mountain…and that’s just to name a few. I could go on.
Each of those sights and the many others I’m sure I could list have been incredible and given me pause, made me feel tiny and humble yet connected, like a speck in an endlessly complex, beautiful web — they were all truly awe-inspiring. And because of that, I don’t think I can pick just one out as the best. It seems like an impossible task.
But I also haven’t given this much thought yet. This is something that I think could take weeks, months, years. We all have so many half-forgotten memories that pop out at the oddest times so I imagine my shortlist of ‘most amazing sight ever’ will continue to grow, and maybe the top few will continue to jostle for that first place position. But as of right now, I really can’t pick just one. I’ve had too many great ones, which is, of course, a splendid problem to have.