We took the long road home.
Off the mountain. Into the rain. Past the wayfaring cows, boisterous boy scout camp, and day-trippers enjoying their first bits of purple-mountain-majesty wonder that still feels fresh this prairie day.
Besides the rocks and pine cones; rememberings and photographs; an empty bottle of Happy Camper enjoyed under a so-close Milky Way, and intentions – we will be coming down off the mountain for a while. Hopefully until the next time we go up the mountain.
Silences, giggling, delicious food, delicious people, “large marge” chipmunks, bouldering on high peaks, fear overcome, fear renewed, great heights, great humbling, clarity, confusion, moments to commit to lifelong memory, and raucous laughing – raucous as in “noisy as the giant ravens guarding the mountain trails.”
This return can feel so lonely and painful – like coming off the field or returning home after a funeral. And yet – like the best funerals – a gentle nudge in a full-life direction has been offered for the willing.
Go. Live this big beautiful life you’ve been given.
Take the risk with your good heart.
Be foolish if you must, but be alive as long as your heart beats.
Last night when sleep eluded, I felt lonely, sad, afraid. Lonely in missing the proximity of lovely people – co-journeying folk of wonder. Sad because leaving the mountains and good company can feel like a small death and the Hobbit House feels less cozy as the key turns in the lock again. Afraid because I have two projects needing done and I had promised myself to stay off email. Afraid…as in have I blown it? Will it always be a solo homecoming? Am I made for this life?
And then the mantra that hounded me on the mountain – as an inescapable yoga intention and meditation practice – rolled up into my nighttime nest. I started singing. Unbreakable! They’re alive. Dammit. It’s a miracle. Unbreakable…Females are strong as hell.
As ridiculous as this is, I felt better and set my alarm for the morning run.
Back in Manhappiness, the fog rolled ahead of us as Katie and I returned to our running routes. A metaphor of living unfolded.
We come down from great heights and into the rolling fog of every next day. Great beauty and bravery; mountaintops and merry-making give way to the banalities of staying fit, paying bills, living responsible and loving lives.
Decisions to make – hopefully informed by the peace and people of the mountain we’ve experienced.
We have been reawakened.
No more deferring to sleep or social media or the monsters under the bed.
Missing people. Old and new pals. Appreciating what is. Resting in the space of the given day. Taking the long way home.
Grinning at the one who holds our hands. Holding the hand of one whose good heart is breaking. Staying silent when words will either wound or wither in their inanity.
These changes within require changes ahead.
We cannot all live on the mountain.
But we can all live where we are.
So let’s get on it.