Monday, March 18, 2013

To Climb A Mountain

Several years ago, deciding I wanted to see Bryce Canyon, I planned an exploration driving trip to enjoy as much scenery as possible along the way. I started out early in the morning in an attempt to miss some of Los Angeles’ infamous traffic.  As I drove along, the morning sky changed colors with the rising of the sun and the clouds slowly wandered across the sky. I listened to the radio and sang along loudly, happy to be on a much needed vacation.

If you’ve ever driven with me, you would know that as well as watching the road in front of me, I look at everything.  I watch the sky change, cars on the road, people in their cars, and birds flying overhead.  The general splendor of my Mother Earth always captures my heart in wonder.

Hours passed and suddenly, my eyes sprung open wide and marveled at a majestic mountain jutting gently up into the sky.  She was the color of sand with layered strips of shades of orange and red tints here and there gently folded in.  This beautiful mountain grew bigger in size with every passing mile.  Knowing I would be passing it none too soon, I held my gaze steadfast, concerned that if I turned my attention elsewhere, I might pass it without giving it the personal greeting it so deserved.

The closer I got, the more I knew to the deepest part of my soul I couldn’t just drive by it, I knew I would have to get out and touch it, wondering if it would open up to me and welcome me in return.  The closer I got, the faster I could feel my heart beat with fervent anticipation.  As my car pulled up to it and carefully parked, I jumped out with unabated enthusiasm.  Realizing I was wearing a low-back top and shorts, I quickly pulled out my sunblock for protection from the “pay attention or I will burn you” sun and lathered my skin up.  I threw the sunblock back in the car and grabbed my “moment capturing” camera.  Excited, I then hopped, skipped, and jumped my way to the beginning of the mountain, reached out my hand and gently touched it to get a feel of what my climb would be like.

Since the sun was high and bright it made the Earth’s touch warm and pleasantly inviting.  I inhaled a deep breath and not wanting to miss a thing, exhaled a long purposeful release to gather my focus.  I found a well worn path and began my ascent.  I climbed and climbed, finding my footing, losing my footing and then finding it again, bending down now and again to run my hand over smooth rock and relish the intense richness of colors embedded in the stone.

As I continued my climb, I felt a warm stream of perspiration glide down my brow.  With another step, I felt something sting my foot so I looked down to see what bit me.  I laughed when I realized that in my vigor to climb the towering giant, I hadn’t changed into my hiking boots and was climbing in my flip flops.  My feet, deciding to scold me for disrespecting them had created some angry blisters.   I thought to take them off and scale the rest of my new found friend in bare feet.  I took one of them off and placed my foot on bare rock finding that the sun had in its course, sank its teeth into the rock and where it was once inviting warmth, was now fiery hot.  The decision now was either forego the remainder of the climb and head back down to my car, climb the mountain in bare feet knowing at the end of the day I would have toasted soles and blisters, or continue the climb in my flip flops and have my feet pay me back in kind with many painful blisters.  Decisions…decisions… and so after a moment of thoughtful deliberation and understanding what the most tolerable level of pain would be, I continued my climb in my flip flops.

Being slightly more cautious with each step, time passed, sweat fell, blisters grew, and as I raised my head, I saw the top within reach.  Hearing a hawk screech, I stopped for a moment, only pausing long enough to watch it glide gracefully on the wind overhead.  I felt the same wind pull at me and turned around to see what it wanted.  What I saw was a stunning vision of colorful land that forced my jaw to drop and capture the breath in my lungs.  The air was clear (having little to no smog) and it allowed my eyes to view miles of grand, picturesque wonderment.  Falling in love, I thought, “Wow, my Creator definitely knew how to paint.”  I now knew why this particular mountain called out to me.  It was two-fold, to see if I would at a moment’s notice prepare myself properly for the adventure (which I partly failed on, not having changed into my hiking boots) and to reward me for the climb with the pictorial view I now observed with great gratitude.

Wanting to capture the moment, I kindly asked another hiker to take a photo of me.  He agreed and I don’t know why, but I sat (see photo below) on the hot stone while they immortalized in film my happy, heart filled with love and joy moment.


They handed my camera back to me, I thanked them, and they continued on their journey and I continued on mine.  I reached the top, stood in absolute wonderment as I took in the full 360 degree view.  The Earth most definitely is a beautiful, graceful, life giving place to be marveled at, respected, and loved in return.

All ideas with beautiful vision can be accomplished.  To climb a mountain, all you need is love in your heart, a sense of wonderment, the right tools, proper preparation, respect for both yourself and the mountain, desire for adventure, the wisdom to know why you are doing it, what the right thing for you is, and what you are willing to endure to accomplish what you set out to do.  Remember to enjoy your adventure and don’t forget to cherish your goal upon conception and completion!

Peace and Love to the Universe!!!