Yesterday, my body, now in its fifth decade of living, was taunted by a lost iteration of what it once was. Back in the BC (before children) days, when muscles were ripe, attuned, supple and much more pliant, I defiantly carried fifty pounds on my back while climbing a mountain trail. Back then I was already fit, and like the present day, worked my body in my home gym. I was well prepared for the journey, back then and now, but as I climbed yesterday on the final steep trek to the top of Sawteeth mountain, as muscles cramped, joints crinkled, ankles ached, I cursed my past self for not allowing its 20-something body to cherish the vitality it once had. But, that is youth. We tend to not get the full value of it, until we are far enough away to see it.
Still, seeing is not always believing.
I say this, because although the view at the summit was entirely obstructed by heavy cloud cover, nadda, not a thing to see, it still was revealing. I admit my body was a bit pissed off as it truly was demanding an elixir of seen-glory to validate, to ease, what it just accomplished, but my mind had to chuckle because it was DeJaVu expereince.
Believe it or not, this was exactly the same view I had the last time I did an ADK high peak. All that struggle, the slips, the trips, the breath, the power, the strength gave me nothing to see at the summit. No spiritual sweet reward of nature’s full abundance. Yet now, with about twenty years of expereince embedded between these two viewless peaks, I begin to understand the ambiguous enormity of the message nature has provided to me.
Struggle does not always redeem the fullness of its suffering, nor of its happiness. Life can only be seen once it constructs the measure of what it is expected to see. It is through the paradox of feeling incomplete that we become complete.
Therefore, standing upon that summit, literally in the clouds, feeling like I was within another quadrant, a dreamscape of sorts, and knowing all too well what would happen if I took one giant step ahead, I allowed myself to stay in place, owning my own fear upon this earth. The soft precipitation of the cloud balanced me, soothed my hot skin, supplicated my sore muscles. I knew how to stay within the presence of life itself.
All of this happened in about a fraction of a second, and I would be lying to you if I said that this vision, in that one thin slice of nano-time, was fully signed, sealed and delivered. It is only this morning with my muse energized by the fuel of caffeine, that I have been enabled to reassemble this expereince into meaning. I am again reminded how it is through the vehicle of human creativity where we make value, and within the process, we let ourselves, our unique processes, be known.
I am resolved to hike another high peak, to look upon what I know others have worked so hard to see, but, today, I am in the wake of tending sore muscles, deep thoughts. I am feeling the full contentment within the lessons of not seeing.