Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"A Simple Scar..."

There are many kinds of scars we bear. 
Some cannot be seen and heal so slowly. 
Others adorn the body and are worn proudly as any award or medal for our efforts.
There is a northern Rockies mountain, that has not one, but three unique and separate summits. each of which holds out its own challenges in style and their difficulty for climbing. 
While scrambling all three is possible, each also has their own technical routes that have been developed slowly over the years. 
Those who first ascended these summits, usually carry scars of various types as memento's.
Some are upon fingers, even elbows, a few written upon legs, even faces.
There seems to be an old tradition of sorts, in the bonding of blood and sweat and rock at altitude in our journeys up there.
On this particular summit, out on a day of a past summer solstice, I was finding the nature of that exposed rock to be quite unique, with its sharp and pointed edges, with a mix of fossils among them. 
I remember them well when I feel for the scar on my leg where that jagged edge tore through my pants.
I didn't feel nor notice exactly when the gash occurred and there was no time to stop anyway. It opened and closed a number of times throughout the day, as I added a bit of myself to the colors of that bright rock face. 
It was a challenging, rewarding, very long summit solstice day.
I fondly recall gathering and placing a few selected stones at the summit cairn, yet my more personal memento was the scar which was to later form on my lower leg. 
I'm not sure exactly why I cherish it so, especially as it was likely caused by inattention, yet it reminds me of so many things... 
Of friendship, being out under the sun, of rock and warm breezes, about losing oneself within effort, and those feelings we all have out there don't we Dear Friends, of emotions so intense and heightened that they can make us smile so many years later.
Over a simple scar.....  DSD   

Saturday, August 27, 2016

"Most Proud..."

“The pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day. On the other hand, the person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back. He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest. What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him?
No, thank you,' he will think. 'Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud...".   V.E. Frankl 

"In Perspective..."

"A great man is always willing to be little...".   R. W. Emerson


Thursday, August 25, 2016

"A Different Height..."

In early Fall, a few seasons back, on another solo traverse of Mt Edith's three summits, I was on my way out late in the day. It was then I was to enjoy a unique experience when meeting two other mountaineers. They seemed very tired, yet very content. They were moving quite slowly and also in a quiet manner.
We were to share the next few hours on the trail together; talking when it felt right; passing snacks back and forth; each of us reflecting upon our own adventure experiences just passed. I sensed that theirs had been a much greater challenge than mine that summit day.
They stopped and looked back on occasion; I believe it was to catch the last glimpses of the mountain which had just tested them. Finally, I asked, "Was it Mt Louis", and then they just smiled.
Great big, full, meaningful, tired smiles that told the rest of their story as few words can...
"I know...", I said, as I had touched the stone of Mt Louis some years ago.
And I did 'know' as Louis is a distinct wild place, so memorable for any adventurer who has chosen to embrace the rock there.
They shared a bit more about the route taken, the exposure, that so small summit, and the challenging descent. What they mused more about though was what I leaned forward to more closely listen to.
Their day had started with the energy and ego and confidence we all display at times out there - things that can carry us forward and through the trials, yet can also be occasionally, paradoxically limiting at the same time.
Their day had ended on a different height... 
While clearly enjoying their accomplishment, the tone of their voices changed and the substance of their words did too, as they shared further.
There was no pretense at all, only a more modest account that mirrored an experience of being humbled.
A part of them had moved past any ego or bravado, now too there was a deeper respect for the mountain, for the ones who first bravely ascended that route; also a shared feeling of companionship with all others who have gone up that so distinctly vertical rock face.
There is a secret strength to be found in being humbled in our adventures.
When paired with our success and the confidence our elusive wild place objectives allow us to create, such earned humbleness gives us clearer perspectives; even allows more connectedness, and like certain precious metals, we go through a higher level of tempering.
What remains is significantly more enduring.
These two quiet climbers had indeed attained their adventure summit that day, yet what they found out there had impacted them more deeply and was worth so much more.....  DSD

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"Even Then..."

"On the highest throne of the world, we still sit only on our own bottom...".   M. De Montaigne


"Lingering Lessons..."

"Life is a long lesson in Humility...".   J.M. Barrie


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"Adventuring Nobility..."

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self...".   E. Hemingway


"Of Seeing Further..."

"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants...".  Sir Isaac Newton

Monday, August 22, 2016

"Dream Arches..."

"Dream arch shimmers in storm clouds.
A bridge between heaven and earth it is said.
Yet its entrance is hard to find...".  D. Ming-Dao

We glimpse them. We know they are truly there.
So we continue to adventure and wander to seek them out.
Then, as we do, and when we finally rest.
We discover that our rainbows, now have found each of us... DSD 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

"Rainbows 'Mixed In' For You Dear Finders, Dear Friends..."

This has become such a unique adventure in itself over these long years...
There have been so many wild places I have gathered up these little polished cobbles. So many techniques learned among endless lessons, to then splash a bit of paint upon them, in a Naive Artistic way, to try and make them into touchstones of sorts.
Now these last many years I have found myself chasing rainbows too, and smiling as I realize that, and then trying to sense how to 'mix in' those wonderful experiences into these Summit Stones created afterwards.
Discovering the endless kinds of rainbows out there is a very special part of our adventure experiences. One that often marks powerful moments, emotions, and meanings.
Rainbows are a unique combination of the elements in their composition, structure, color, and how long they endure. 
There are many tales and legends about the meanings to be found among such natural artistry. Then even more mystery may be revealed within them too, we all sense at certain times within our wanderings.
Over many seasons I have gathered up selected stones, water, crystals, sand, and other elemental substances, found at the 'end of a rainbow'. 
Many times after a storm out among distant coastal islands, as the rain came and went ,creating one beach rainbow after another. 
Also when hiking to an endless number of hidden waterfalls, with the countless rainbows found within their mists, created in the early mornings there.
Then too on many elusive summit experiences, among the comings and goings of unsettled weather, where double rainbows appear, which illuminated the rocks up there with the shifting and changing of the colors and light.
All of which now has been 'mixed in' as best I can, so hopefully you can feel it too, in the little Summit Stone now in your hand Dear Friends.....DSD