There is no picture of the mountain for this post. I could drive two hours to take one. I will one day, just not this one.
The face of Cove Mountain overlooks the town. Its uneven eyes have watched for always. The nose has lost boulder-sized bits to the foothills below. Not in this century, not in the last, sometime when a tremor rocked the mountain, so long ago. Under the nose, the mouth has bars that were scrapped into his teeth as the boulders fell-- mountain braces.
To the left of the face is a dark rectangular spot in the mountain. I am the only one who knows the secret. I'm going to tell just you.
This is a door that leads into the mountain where people live in homes built into the sides of the caverns. A stream bubbles and sings through the valleys. Rock bridges lead from house to house and to the village square and on, deep down through the mountain, the stream leads to other towns, other countries even, through other mountain ranges.
They share their mountain water with towns below, and send the excess to the sea, through the caverns that connect all the way to zero.
The caverns have light—bright as day until nighttime when the light fades slowly. Even in winter the lights are bright and the days are long, not short and winter gray like in the town below. There is no such thing as seasonal depression inside the mountain, no such thing as disease that plague the world.
There are lawns and gardens ripe with flowers and vegetables that the rest of the world has never seen. It is warm, not cold and barren like the man-made cave, Red Butte, at the base of the mountain. The people living behind the secret door are thriving and happy. Oh, how I have wanted to see into their secret world ever since I was little.
I dreamed of a girl. She came out to see the world, to have adventures. She was not the first to leave. She financed her time with rocks. She sailed and flew and rode by car and camel and rickshaw. She learned languages, she tasted and drank and shook her dark curls at the taste and smell of food not fresh with the dew of the mountain. She flirted with dark skinned boys and light skinned ones and all shades in between, but went home to the man, who waited, thinking she would come but not knowing for sure. They all went home, those girls of the mountain.
If you ever see behind the mountain door, will you tell me? Will you bring a flower and a stone for my pocket? I'll not spend it but keep it for luck. Bring me the sound of laughter and the song of the mountain stream.
Will you keep their secret and tell just me?