I have observed that I find it hard to write when I am feeling good — when I’m feeling positive.
I have, however, been making a critical effort to remain positive and have found my time in nature to be a great practice, yet with so little effort. It is splendidly amazing what nature can do for the heart, soul and attitude. I have been fighting a negative vibe as of late — criticism of others, negative thoughts of self. This weekend, in nature, the positive thoughts were easy to come by. Why is that? The stunning surrounds? The endorphin rush of hard work? The company on the trail and in camp? Is it possible that we uplift one another when one struggles? Yes, yes, yes and yes.
Four nights and four days in the Eastern Sierra … what can I say. There were times when I thought my hip or knee would give in. There were times where I woke up claustrophobic in the world’s smallest tent. There were times where I thought I’d panic over unexpected miles and unmarked trails.
But more importantly there were times when we laughed at everything; times when the tent smelled of altitude farts and feet, and it was quite alright. The time when I practiced my sun salutations on a rock overlooking Soldier Lake, and the time when the I sat on a fallen tree next to the most-handsome-man-ever, feet in the lake, immersed in comforting silence.
Never in my life have I laughed so hard at a marmot.
I forgot about work; I didn’t care about checking emails. I forgot my cell phone did anything other than take pictures, and I completely forgot about it when I stowed it in the deepest, most secure zippered pocket in my pack. It feels splendidly good to get away from it all. My biggest concerns were eating, hydrating and staying warm. With nowhere to be and my wrist watch in the car, time was marked only by sunrise, sunset and tired eyes. We set up camp when the place felt right, and we broke it down when the coffee was gone. Our alarm clock was the sun warming the tent walls.
As I reflect on what I took from the mountains, I realize that I have so many words … and yet so few. The peaceful environs have infiltrated my soul; my mind is calm and my heart is full. My breath was taken from me so many times, yet my lungs remain full and refreshed; my spirit pure and lively. I was certainly happy to be home — to rest and be clean and eat fresh foods — and now that I’m home, I long for the mountains.