He doesn’t want me to talk about it. “Mom you always make a story about everything.”
He’s right. I do. It’s how I cope.
Last Friday, I was tired of sitting around, waiting for kids to be picked up, waiting for kids to be dropped off.
“Do you want to go on a hike with me?” I asked one, two, three kids.
Nope, too tired, too hot, no thanks.
So I got in the car, drove a few towns over and started to climb a mountain by myself. Pack Monadnock (pack is Native American for small), it’s a little over 2000 feet, a nice little climb for a summer afternoon.
At the summit, when I was sitting down and enjoying the view, I got a phone call. I needed to come home immediately. My husband was on the way to the hospital because when one of my sons was chopping wood – the blade slipped and went into his leg.
I’m at the top of a mountain, my car is at the base and the only way to get down the mountain is to put one foot in front of the other and take it step by step. That is the only way.
So that’s what I did. For the entire 2000 foot descent, I paid attention to my surroundings. I saw limbs that had fallen down and were on the path forcing me to walk around them. I saw trickles of water hiding in rock crevices, the last stubborn holdouts from the morning rain. I heard birds call out and then other birds answering from a distance. I saw a few remaining wild blueberries, the earlier harvest having long since been eaten by local wildlife.
I saw the beginnings of a beautiful sunset.
For 2000 feet, I was surrounded by some of the most incredible beauty and tranquility around.
There is a Buddhist story about a monk, who being chased by a tiger falls off a cliff. He manages to hold onto a branch but soon discovers that there are tigers below waiting for him to fall.
Tigers above. Tigers below. He notices, reaches for, and eats a fat, ripe strawberry that had been growing on the side of the cliff.
It is a wonderful strawberry.
When I finally reached the mountain base, I checked in with everyone and got into my car to drive home.