Monday, September 20, 2004

Acadia September Wind

If Friday was fog, and Saturday, rain, Sunday was wind day. And that is fine weather for the Jordan Cliffs Trail, a mile long hike along the sheer eastern rock face of Penobscot Mountain. Except for the rogue shower that waltzed by before I reached the tricky part soaking the rock and roots and dirt all over. I should have turned around and went back the way I had come from, back to where I had stopped to let some hikers by so as not to be disturbed by their idle chatter while I thought of the wind as voice as creation of story in a start to make sense of it all, but followed instead their voices in the wind until I could make out these words trailing off: “I wonder…”

But I didn’t, turn back that is. I continued the hike, forgetting how difficult it was (at least for this amateur), until I reached a ten foot section that was three feet wet and wide and looked into the maw of birch trees two-hundred feet below. It was then I realized each step I took literally meant survival. I chanted my hiking mantra, one step at a time. But I annotated it with the following: one firm well-placed foot at a time, keeping balance on my rear boot until I was sure of the front, and by the way don’t look down, not just because the depths will suck at your every depression dragging you into its pit of hell but just because there’s no time to look anywhere but there in front.

Survival. It’s the yin to the yang of wonder. Survival. Wonder. But more than that, each also resides within the other. Just as there’s wonder in survival, the marvels of our families or the fascination with our work, there’s survival in our wonder. Without it, we live in that material world where every question has an answer and every reason has its why. And slowly we become dead of soul and alive only for the next purchase, drink, or cheap promotion. So I carefully grabbed a metal rung and I firmly placed my boot on that slight foothold and I pulled my weight closer to the mystery of elevation. Amen.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Great post! I'm going to link w/ a longish quote. (You'll be in good company). Thanks.