November Again

November? Where did that come from? I was eating calzones in the shadow of the Torres last week, dangling my legs in a Peruvian crevasse just yesterday, I swear. These days are going as fast as an out of control rollercoaster. No complaints though. The past two months have been more fulfilling than any other single period of my life…from kayaking to climbing, relationships to retirement planning, all is well. I am happy and pleased with how life is treating me.

But a change is in the air, for sure. Civilised life seems to be encroaching on my world once again…those mundane details threatening to drive me back to the mountains. Shopping for insurance, cleaning the kitchen, organizing gear, filing away important documents, paying bills. Sure, I get a kick out of managing my finances and keeping my apartment, but of course I would rather be rationing the weeks food and repairing the tent. I find myself seeking the freedom of the hills week to week, yearning for the utter simplicity I only find deep in thin cracks high above the ground.

The climb I led yesterday morning was hard, near my limit, and had a short runout section near the ground. Much like everything in life, outcome was uncertain. But there was a difference: yesterday the consequences were real. Who the hell cares if don’t pick the right insurance company? But on that crack, choosing the wrong foothold could have hurt me in a real, physical sense. I have a to-do list twenty lines long, but the sum total of all its bullets pales in comparison to the urgency of one item, that first stopper yesterday morning. Climbing totally captivates me. On the rock I feel so alive! It is a feeling I only get in one other place….and that feeling, in my mind, validates the risk.

My pulse quickens just thinking about it. Perhaps I’ll go scrub the kitchen floor before the feeling fades…

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