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A Photo is Worth 1000 Songs – Never Summer

A weekly series exploring photos, words, and songs.
Photos: Arik Solberg
Words: Dave Shiffman
Songs: ♫ on Spotify


It’s still summer, but there’s snow on the ground. Your legs burn and your feet ache after hiking up the rocky slope for the last several hours.

You deserve a rest before trekking further so you find a convenient place to hang a hammock. You throw your hat aside, kick off your boots and lay back, swinging gently, far above sea level.

The sun feels warm on your face, yet the breeze refreshes you as it rolls over your brow, damp with sweat. You could use a little nap, but you can’t take your eyes off the magnificent vista. Gazing down the mountain, front and center lies a midnight blue glacier lake. On one side, a bald face inclines steeply up to the clouds. Across from the monolith, towering pines reach for the sky as if they’ve been shot out of the ground with a cannon.

Your dog thinks she’s a mountain goat as she does a little exploring of her own. Her nonchalance toward the dangerous terrain concerns you a bit, but after a drink from a clear mountain stream she returns and curls up under your hammock.

It feels like you can reach out, grab a handful of cloud and watch it dissolve in your hand like a dandelion seed head in a pond. Your proximity to the heavens coupled with the pure natural beauty surrounding you helps you feel a stronger connection to God and the universe. You feel thankful for this, and for all that is good in life.

You reach down and stroke your dog, and she returns the affection with a lick of your hand. You both rest, on top of the world.



SONGS: ♫ on Spotify

Dave is the author of "The Cosmic Burrito", a tale of two friends who drive across the USA in search of the ultimate burrito. In the past, he has written for various music publications and interviewed a range of artists including Sublime, Everclear, Burning Spear, Big Mountain, Bad Brains, Neal Casal and Lucky Dube. Dave has a deep passion for reggae music, Rasta consciousness and island culture. In reggae circles, he goes by the name "Rootsdude," and he has dubbed his extensive music collection “Rootsdude Sound System.” David plays ice hockey weekly for two recreational teams he founded and manages, Team Rasta and The Wailers.