Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Climbing Lenten Reflection

We mountain trekkers were inspired by John Muir, the most quoted mountaineer who said, "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares drop off like autumn leaves."

In the movie "Seven Years in Tibet" when Heinrich Harrer explained his reasons for climbing, "I climb because of absolute simplicity. Our mind is clear, free of all confusion, you have focus and suddenly, the light becomes sharper, sounds are richer and you are filled with the deep, powerful presence of life."

We have our reasons.
My reason is . . .

They say climbing gives one a natural high. It can be explained by the release of endorphin, the body's natural pain killers. The same feeling you get after a work out, a marathon or an aerobic activity. All the walking one does is like going through reflex. Reflex through finger therapy disperses and melts all the crystals and deposits in the foot producing an immediate feeling of well-being. Tension and minor pains seem to disappear. That's what the trail, stones and pebbles one steps on do to the feet and the body.

From a fellow trekker
No wonder John Muir said in his most quoted explanation, "all woes disappear." True, woes disappear. Spiritually, climbing prepares one for better relationship with fellowman, nature and with the self. The struggle one goes through forces one to look quietly and deeply to the core of the self leading to a discovery and realization that we are just a speck in the universe. Yet, when one reaches the destination, one is euphoric, rewarded with an awesome view of nature, the satisfaction of self-reliance and a realization of the beauty of man and creation. Senses are heightened opening up other possibilities in life yet feet are firmly planted on earth.

That is why during and after a climb. I enjoy better your company at the camp site, go out of my way to do chores as a cook, a cleaner, guide or sweeper or even organizing and leading climbs. I appreciate better food, drinks and socials, value water, shade, sunlight, cool breeze, trekking company and acknowledge myself more and most of all understand my role as a work of my creator.

The learning of perseverance to gratitude, struggle to fulfillment elevates this recreation to a work of creation.