Once there was this boy who was very fond of a girl, and this girl was very fond of the mountains. As it turns out, so was this boy, and he bought her hiking boots for her birthday (very expensive hiking boots this girl surmised, realizing just how deep his affections must run) and they set off for an adventure.
The girl was very excited, not only to be with this boy who so obviously enjoyed her company (boots, remember) but to be with him in her mountains (totally not a metaphor) and to show him a place close to her heart (also not a metaphor). It is a place so special that only a very few, special people know about it.
It is an outcropping of rock that hangs over a rushing river. It can't be seen from the path, and when you are laying on it the warmth of the boulder seeps into your bones and your ears fill up with the song of the river.
The two of them parked at the trail head, and grabbed some granola and an Indian blanket from the little, blue hatchback. In no time at all, they reached the notch in the trail that marked the way and together they stepped through the underbrush, picking their way to the Rock as she led him there.
He stepped out first and gave her his hand as she gracefully step-hopped to the rock. They spread the blanket, smoothing its red and black stripes on the stone, and making a place for them. They lay down on their backs, side-by-side, looking up to the sky.
She rolled over and asked, "Mmm, do you hear that?" Together they peered over the edge of the boulder and watched, for a moment, the tumbling water. They could almost feel it rumbling up through the rock and powering into their chests.
Then they lay back, neither of them speaking. It was a place to come and feel the sun pouring down its goodness on you, to feel the earth's heat bouncing back up through the rock, to feel the freight train of the river running through you, and to hear the symphony of the aspen leaves and waterfalls. It was a place to just be.
And also a place, perhaps, to hold a special someone and steal a kiss. Or two. Or Three (and very romantic kisses, at that). Perhaps.
Just like these kissing trees at the bottom of the Rock. They remind the girl of two hands scooping earth, working together.
For awhile they remembered this place and came to just be (and perhaps, steal a kiss or two). Even after they were married. Even after they had a child, or two.
Eventually, the call of the river became harder to answer as their life together evolved.
But always, the memory of the rock is there. The Rock of Love.