Hiking | Philosophy | Poetry

Mountains

“the mountain before you
is just a symbol

what you climb
step by step
is yourself”
– Kat Lehmann, Small Stones from the River

I was going to save this poem and the one that follows for hiking days, for they obviously pair well with trail work. But then I thought to myself that life is a climb all its own.

Thinking smaller, the year is also full of challenges and wonder, mingled together like four souls coexisting in a house next to the woods hoping the Internet service measures up today.

“a mountain
becomes smaller
the longer it is climbed

by the time
the summit is reached
all that remains
is a valley”
– Kat Lehmann, Small Stones from the River

On some hikes, the return back to the car is far longer than the trip to the summit. How does that happen on an out and back hike? One way is discovery and anticipation. The other is reflection and seeing the same things from a different perspective. Shouldn’t we marvel at them both?

The answer lies in summiting. And then turning back. We’re never the same, are we?

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