AN OBSERVATION ON CLIMBING A MOUNTAIN


I recently came out of my winter hibernation and I am starting to blog again.

I also recently started the 2012 hiking season. On Friday March 23rd a friend and I hiked Buck Mountain in the Lake George region of NY with a great view of the Adirondacks.  Earlier in the week a few friends and I hiked Hadley Mountain in the extreme southern tier of the Adirondacks; a hike very close to my home town.

The Hadley hike was important not only because it was the first hike of the season and the first time I hiked Hadley, but also for the strange occurrence that happened the day before.  A close friend of ours had taken his life without any of us seeing the warning signs.  Needless to say, it was a complete shock and I don’t know that any of us will ever understand why.  Our friend had many hikes to the top of Hadley and even took part in some of the restoration of a cabin near the mountain’s peak.

As the first hike of the season, the mountain left my legs hurting and my heart and lungs laboring more than I hoped. I tried not to tell the others of my effort and instead, testing my atheistic sensibilities, I talked with my just passed friend.  I told him that I didn’t understand, but that I would respect our friendship and have faith that he thought he had no other choice.  I told him that I wished he would have talked with someone who could have told him that he did have another choice, a million other choices, and I told him that I wished I knew him better.

Step by step, my silent bargaining with faith versus logic, neither winning outright, neither providing the perfect answers, I found myself at the summit on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
I’m not quite sure how the others in my hiking party were dealing with the loss, but I struggled a bit grasping the permanence of the previous day’s incomprehensible act.  At the summit, we collectively said a salute to our passed friend, and I believe we all made our own private goodbyes.

We soon headed down, all within our thoughts; stepping down a mountain of memories.

-The G. O. 

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