Last night was bitter cold and rainy and every time the wind kicked up it blew the mist into the shelter. I ended up tangled in my sleeping bag, lost my wool hat somewhere in my bag in the middle of the night, and for reasons I still don't understand started pulling clothes into my sleeping bag while failing to actually put them on. It was a mess and so depressing to start the day (again) in cold, wet clothes. It sounds like it sucks, doesn't it? Not a chance. My day ended with ne sitting atop Mt. Abraham about an hour before sunset. As soon as I got to camp I threw down all of my gear and ran/climbed the 0.8 miles to the summit. It tops out at what I believe is the tree line and the views in every direction were awe inspiring. I'm easily frustrated by the inadequacy of our language when it comes to describing things like true love, true pain, and mesmerizing beauty. Tonight is another of those nights.
Some thoughts from the last few days:
Why? It's a question I’ve asked myself over and over in the last 13 days. Why subject myself to the physical discomfort, the blisters, bruises, etc? Why? Because as I'm writing this the full moon is crawling over my shoulder, the stars form pinpoints that hint at better places. I'm chilled to the bone, can see my breath in my headlamp, and I know that this will never come again, not this night, this moon, and these stars.
"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars make me dream". Vincent Van Gogh
There is no single answer why, no capital letters or exclamation points, but i have had some time to think and these are my thoughts, at least for tonight:
I'm 47 years old, far past the halfway point in this life. Some of it has been awful and some of it has been sublime, but my hope is that when it's over I'll have spent more of my life burning like a blowtorch than not. I can handle getting older, can handle that certain dreams have died, but I will not "go gentle into that good night". There are still many fires to be set.