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The mountains – quiet, peaceful solitude. Rhododendron, ferns, thistles, outcroppings of rocks, tops of trees swaying in the breeze, split rail fences covered with lichens, views of mountain ridges sixty miles off, blue and gray, with tops glistening in the sun. A bird scratching in the leaves. White clouds racing across the sky. In the valley are sprinkled tiny white houses. A dog barks in the distance.

Up on the mountaintop we are part of the main, yet so far removed. We can peek out at the real world and then hide in the shadows of the trees. How long shall we retreat?