|My annual climb|
Although it's more of a hike than a climb, it's definitely not for the faint of heart. Boulders the size of transport trucks and crevasses that can swallow insignificant, tiny me -- everyone is tiny compared to this mountain -- line the pathway to the top.
I am a little afraid of heights (isn't everyone?), so the challenge to decide to do it is my real stumbling block.
Luckily, I have Michel to recognize and encourage my adventurous side. As soon as he sees a moment's hesitation when we are planning the climb -- he can read my mind so well, he often knows my thoughts before they are even completed -- he gives me a boost of reassurance with his knowing smile.
This time the climb was on one of the hottest days of summer. A gauzy tank top and climbing shorts were still too hot to wear. If I could, I would have worn my bikini. (But, of course, that's not really practical as I would have received many raw scratches in places I'd rather not have them, plus others on the climb would have wondered what planet I came from. No, I'd rather be hot.)
The rock scraped at my hands (pretty, I know); exhaled dry, hot breath on my skin; and remained stubbornly high every step I took.
It took three hours.
So why would I embark on this journey every year? It's bliss. I enjoy feeling the strength of my body. My muscles bulge impressively. My heart beats with determination. I get to experience nature (my own and the rock's) in all its rawness.
My best motivation? I get to be with Michel, and he with me, sans telephone, computer, demands on either one of us from the outside world. When either one of us needs help, the other one is there to lend a helping hand (or push ... or pull). And when we get to the top, watching the lake below, we sit in silence happy to just be together.
|One of our rewards: the view at the top.|