Crazy Enough To Take A Risk

Photo courtesy of Freepik

He apparently was doomed from the start. With his hands shoved casually into his jean pockets, the tall, slender man leaned a broad shoulder against the splintered doorway of the crumbling structure. He winced at the all-too-fresh memory of his burly, older brother slapping him painfully on that same shoulder, warning in a condescending tone of voice, “Dear misguided little brother! When your adventurous ways fail, you would do well to remember it’s the traditional, tried and tested ways that define success!”

A sharp breeze, coming down off the mountains, swirled through the open, sagging doorway, ruffling the man’s dark curly hair. He stared up at the mountain peaks, his gaze tracing their rugged outline. A faint grin lifted the corners of his mouth. He couldn’t imagine his formal, conventional brother being here in this long forgotten old building, located high up on this lonely, windswept mountain slope. But if he were here, he would undoubtedly take in the scene before him with a sweeping glance and ask in a disbelieving voice, “What on earth about this is success?!”

The man’s grin widened at the horrified expression there was sure to be reflected on his brother’s face at the sight of this place. The building had been vacated and left to succumb to the elements years ago. Tall weeds had sprouted up in between the rotting floorboards. Rusting sections of tin had lost their tenacious hold and had slipped and fallen off the roof, leaving decaying rafters exposed to the battering of the wind, rain and snow.

The grin faded as quickly as it had appeared. The man kept his gaze fixed steadily on the mountains. He knew he’d never be able to prove his success; finding the answers to his questions in the unlikeliest of places, to his brother. For his brother would never consider coming up to this altitude. There would be the reasoning instead, his brother justifying his need to stay at his convenient and safe level of comfort. He would announce in an imperious tone of voice, while plucking non-existent lint off of his perfectly pressed, custom-made suit coat, “Why on earth”.. his brother seemed to be particularly fond of emphasizing everything with “why on earth”…” would I traverse a steep, rocky, narrow road, where a wrong turn of the wheel could, quite possibly, catapult me to the bottom of a ravine; just to reach an uninhabitable, inhospitable place?! What do you think I am; crazy?!”

No, his brother certainly wasn’t crazy. He was the one who was crazy. He’d left all those conveniences behind to figure out what it was that drew those people a century before, and what it was that drew him as well, to such a harsh, yet beautiful environment. And he’d found out it wasn’t for the lure of striking it rich. Like many of those people, he would come off of that mountain with only the money he had in his pocket. No, it was for a discovery far more foundational.

The tall, slender man slipped his hands out of his pockets, straightened and stepped out of the structure. The mere presence of that relic gave testimony of people who had been willing to take a risk. His own presence there bespoke of that same willingness.