The First Hike of the Summer

It has been a while. Quite awhile, actually, well–since last fall, but before that, it had been awhile. In case you haven’t guessed, hiking. Last fall, my friend Brian and I set out to reach the summit of Greyrock, not sure of the height, but it sits 20 minutes outside Fort Collins, Colorado in Poudre (Poo der) Valley.

This trip we had planned for more than a week, he had to get permission from the wife. Hmph! Unfortunately, when we set out it was late in the day and we did not get a chance to finish it. Simply, it was late fall and we had failed to anticipate the 6.5 mile round trek to and from the summit might suffer the fate of darkness.

Forward June 18th 2006, my friend Brian and I returned to conquer Greyrock, this time we went earlier, and this time we conquered. Yes! We were men! Arrrrgh! On our way and our way down we solved the problems of the planet, including that peace thing that seems to pop up every generation. Heck, we even solved the Middle East quandary.
And, no it was not nuke the place until it glowed. No, we felt that there would be eventual peace, if only we could catch Saddam Hussein. Oh yeah, we did that. There would be eventual peace, if only the Iraqi people would elect a government. Oh yeah, they did that. Yes, we thought that there would be eventual peace, if we dropped a 500 pound on where Al Zagawi lived with his fellow conspirators. Oh yeah, we did that too. Hmmm? Well did solve it though. We figured we let the "the undocumented workers," Mexican Nationals, overrun their borders for awhile–certainly that might bring about peace (tongue inserted firmly in cheek here).

However, the political discourse and rancor that resides within the country was a bit more difficult to resolve. We figured that "civil" discourse was no longer viable, in that, it has been transformed, obscured, and blunted into submission. As we hiked, we debated on the civility of Americans on days gone by; we were convinced that every generation felt that morals of the following generation were in decline. We met several people along the trail, some with their dogs, and some with their kids. They all outpaced us both up and down the mountain. But we traveled at a leisured pace soaking in the ambience of nature.
The trail ahead may have had looked ominous, but not all things appear what they seem. This is a message that has been a theme in my life. I have regretted much, and not always empathized enough. Some of my life's indiscretions and indecisions had brought me much joy or happiness, but they had brought perspectives unexpected. The question had always been what is next?

Forward motion. Each step is placed in front of the other. For me waging that eternal of Eros and Thanatos: the battle of living life and letting life decay by erosion to inevitable death. Yes, my friend and I pondered the mysteries of life.
But the everyday doldrums, the living of life taking the shorter route, the steeper path, the dips and ascension powers our certainty forward. I listened to my friend's angst, resentments, both professional and personal, and I listened to mine. Our frustrations can be painted in pastels, so they can brightened, and fruitful. Yes, the may seem to multiply, but it is the journey, in which, the travails and experience shone us a new perception. Yes, each ripples of wave, each step, each moment become more precious than the last. Nature renews. Nature provides the vehicle of transformation and connection. The mountain air soothes the spirit and energizes the heart. Nature brings love and incarnation. Nature brings life….


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