Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How climbing a mountain is like raising a child

In the beginning, everything looks placid and beautiful. You look at the adorable pictures of other children and mountains and think that this will be a piece of cake.

Then, you realize that you are actually climbing a mountain, not just looking at a pretty picture of one. It turns out that the actual climbing requires a lot more endurance than the picture-gazing. At these moments you swear at your partner and blame her/him for making you do this/not making you completely and totally happy and comfortable/the size and steepness of the mountain.

Occasionally, you notice that the mountain/child really is a work of wonder and beauty.

You reach the summit, and if you're lucky, you and your beloved are still together, albeit a bit dorkier and more middle-aged than you remember becoming.

After taking a good long time to celebrate and enjoy the view, you start downhill. You figure you're practically done now. After all, downhill means easy, fast, once again, piece of cake. Then you get a late night phone call, or some other wake-up call that no, you're not done yet. For example, perhaps the sole of your boot (which you've only worn four times, but has fallen apart due to disuse of about 12 years) falls off just as you begin your descent. It looks something like this.

And then, a little further down, the other one falls off. You now have very little support, and even less traction, and the trail is extremely slippery. You are not really sure if you can get through this without some major injury or trauma.

Still, with the patience of your partner (and probably quite a few other friends and family members), you make it down/through the latest trial, traveling much more slowly and painstakingly than expected, using 2 instead of the usual 1 walking pole.

Again, you celebrate, this time over a delicious romantic dinner.

And then, quite willingly, you make plans to train even harder for the next mountain, and vow always, always to enjoy the view.

(For more Adirondacks pictures, see my August 2009 Flickr set.)


Heather said...

What an adventure - sounds well worth it!

mel said...

What a beautiful post! :)

Love your new setup (probably not new anymore though?) It's lovely!

ZenCrafter said...

Amaaazing post! I missed your blog during my self-imposed blog hiatus. I aspire to the life you are living, and this metaphor is a good reminder for me on my trek.


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