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Silence sunk to the valley floor as broken cirrus clouds dissolved into a deep blue sky. A small stool of gneiss allowed me to perch just above the highest subalpine firs, exposing the valley in a pure and naked form. A small strip of asphalt ran just beneath the cliffs opposite from me and a few thousand feet below. Silence sunk to the bottom of my heart as the jack brake of a semi-truck rumbled from the asphalt up to my ears.

Moments of intimacy mean nothing when alone; orgasms achieved without company fail to have the climax as the orgasm achieved during an intimate connection with another soul. I came to where I rest alone. Alone only in the sense that no humans traveled with me. In reality I sit in my spot surrounded by intimacy. Attempting to understand the forest below me creates a web of love, a tangle of relationships, and a myriad of romance. Polygamy of this sort has rarely been part of the conversation in modern society, indeed, relationships with non-human items are viewed as possessive or scientific, and almost never romantic.

A gentle breeze sways the subalpine fir in a beautiful dance. Noting that no two trees respond ton the breeze in the same manner fills me with curiosity. The logical explanation is micro-topography created from complex spatial patterns in forest structure and terrain changed the breeze, thus each tree experienced the breeze in a different way. While logical, this explanation nonchalantly removes some of the mystery from the forest. Perhaps some trees are swing dancers, while others prefer to tango? Even within the ones who have a preference for swing, each carries unique style, and a beautifully unique expression of oneself.

I slowly am developing relationships with all that surrounds me. We apply names to mountains, not simply so we can describe a location, but so we can share their story. No two mountains are alike, some more similar than others, but none identical in background nor personality. Similarly we name rivers to help others identify their character, just as we name our sons and daughters. Geologist describe the history of these features in great detail. Stories of their births, evolution, demise and death. Historians add layers of human history, highlighting how humans shaped the story of the mountain. Ecologists describe the various organisms that have called the mountain home, the factors that welcomed new creatures and forced others to leave. They then predict the processes that may shape the future of the mountain. Collectively, these ideas tell a grand story of the events the mountains we speak of have experienced. But rarely do these stories reflect on the mountains personality.

Today, I sit in silence with my heart open. My ears are open as I listen to the characters of this setting come to life, building their role in the processes, and giving me a glimpse of who they are. Snow crystals come to life with beauty as their crystalline structure revels atmospheric histories. Failure to listen to their story and respect their existence brings dramatic and sometimes violent woomphs. The trees continue to dance in the wind, some swing seductively, others shy away and hide their face. A rock ptarmigan hobbles above me, reveling a shyness similar to that of my own. A glimpse in her eye revels a desire for friendship, a peace of mind. The people who live here, the snow, the trees, the animals, all carry their stories, and all take some time to get to know. Many humans travel up and down the paved strip beneath, visitors to these mountains, as I am. Most visitors fail to ever once open their heart to accept these relationships into their life. They only absorb superficial judgments, described with the word beautiful or stunning. It is easy to appreciate a beautiful smile, but much more difficult to learn who stands behind it. Some develop a love for skiing, a passion for using the dramatic terrain for self enjoyment, but what relationship of such selfish nature persist over the years?

This is no candle lit dinner as we tend to associate with romance, yet, no intimacy is lost. An infinite number of candles burn unseen in landscapes. The romance flows freely from being to being, from soul to soul. One simply has to spend the time to get to know these complex beings to receive it. The beauty is that no love is lost, and all share their love among others equally. Not one being is left out, unless one refuses to participate. The diversity here is eminence, and each being has ideas to share, knowledge to gain, and intimacy to contribute. All of which seem to be important components of healthy relationships.

Romance is surrounding us should we decide to break down our barriers and confines of love for humans to include all . Intimacy becomes much greater when submerged in it, romance more powerful when all inclusive. Indeed we often preach non-human items to be symbols of love- the beauty of a bouquet of roses or the everlasting strength of a diamond – but we rarely accept that if we choose to not just love our partner, but instead equally love the symbol, than the intimacy of any special moment is much grander. We tend to forget that any moment in this world is the product of chance, any landscape that creates a feeling of beauty is perfect. I mean that a landscape could have formed into an infinite list of alternative landscapes, so the one before our eyes is perfect the way it is. To share intimacy with a partner is also the one in a trillion chance of complex events unfolding in a way that allow you to look your partner in their eyes.

Imagine unleashing a kiss fueled not just by the love for your partner, but by a love for the countless beings and events that allowed you to kiss your partner. Imagine a world where romance is not confined to one, but shared amongst all. Imagine the love you would express if you were loved by the depths of all beings, imagine the love you would make if you held no hatred and extended your love to all.

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