Perhaps it is this act of hiking while exhausted, past the point of comfort, having to dig deep into some invisible reserves, that adds to the feeling of accomplishment?
|Who lives here?|
Some parts of this hike were tricky - climbing over loose and shifting rocks, trying to wedge my foot in a tight crevice, bending and lifting myself up and over ridges. At times, it seemed my hips and knees were going in different directions, certainly separate directions from my mind. Always, always, always, just when I needed it most, there was a perfect rock waiting for me - wide, flat, steady, strong, beckoning, allowing me to rest, catch my breath, regain my footing. We had a refreshing snack while sitting on a beautiful outcropping, and felt energized for the rest of the hike.
I've been blessed with friends like this through the years, friends who popped into my life by surprise just when I needed them, rock steady and strong, letting me catch my breath, giving me much-needed perspective. These friends were often temporary, "passers-by," appearing at different phases of life and not necessarily in for the long journey - I'm thinking of former colleagues, dorm-mates, "I'm a new Mom, too," and "oh, your child's at this school, too?" - you know, friends of a time.
Yet, still very, very dear in my heart.
I found myself remembering each of them on this last hike - their wisdom and insight, their reassuring ways.
This, truly, is a gift of hiking - the memories tapped and released, to savor once more.
|Tony & I at the summit|