Where I Come From
Cascade, Adirondacks, NY.
Down through the col, and back up, I breathed hard under the hood of my shell, and tried to avoid disturbing treetops full of snow, lest they shower me in the narrow trail. When I finally got into the open on my second destination, Porter, the temperature difference under the open, sunny sky was significant, and layers began coming off. The warmth was welcome, but breathing harder towards the last push definitely made me feel that the physical years don’t favor the mental motivation. I rested briefly before setting up my gear, recognizing the best landscape as a view back, back where I came from. That summit was a long winter slog, tramping through the landscape on snowshoes, like a staggering giant on a lilliputian journey. They have all been, I think; only the seasons change. Retrospect is a foolish enterprise, better considered with old friends than solo. Alone, your memory stretches the long distance versus the selected escapades, drawing sterner reflection and harsher recriminations. My humble beginnings—where I come from—always stressed that working for it will bring reward. What taught us the way was love. I learned by example, and no matter which successful (or un-) path, I poured my heart into it. There is always another summit, another way point. It is the failures that haunt you, that make you choose another route, that make you question where you’re going or what you did along the way. But never where you’ve come from.