Life’s Uphill Climb

I’m under a pile of deadlines and stresses here with car insurance nightmares (really? Our car was hit two weeks ago and we’re not any closer to a resolution and you’re unwilling to cover a rental vehicle?), homework, book reports, soccer practices, volleyball (I’m coaching), surgery for Jamie next week and life.

On a positive note, we had a glorious weekend away at The Broadmoor and their new Ranch at Emerald Valley. Many details on that when I carve out the time but in the interim, I found a few quotes this week I absolutely love love love!

There are two kinds of climbers:

Those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.

-Alex Lowe

And then, this.

How to Climb a Mountain

Make no mistake. This will be an exercise in staying vertical.
Yes, there will be a view, later, a wide swath of open sky,
but in the meantime: tree and stone. If you’re lucky, a hawk will
coast overhead, scanning the forest floor. If you’re lucky,
a set of wildflowers will keep you cheerful. Mostly, though,
a steady sweat, your heart fluttering indelicately, a solid ache
perforating your calves. This is called work, what you will come to know,
eventually and simply, as movement, as all the evidence you need to make
your way. Forget where you were. That story is no longer true.
Level your gaze to the trail you’re on, and even the dark won’t stop you.

-Maya Stein

Last weekend: I slipped away from The Broadmoor for a few hours and hiked this.

View of The Broadmoor from my perch atop Upper Columbine Trail, Colorado Springs, Labor Day 2013

It was an empowering climb where I felt stronger, more powerful with each step and literally never wanted it to end when I reached the summit. But now I’m back on firm ground, exhausted, and lacking the clarity I always seem to achieve when I’m soaring several thousand feet in the air. But alas:

You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.

-Rene Daumal, Mount Analogue

Here’s for the knowing.

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