Stuck in this valley today.


I need a trail that ascends something. A mountain. A ridge. A decent hill. But that rises and rises.
A trail that tops the highest point and continues along a crest. And maybe a fist of Arctic wind that hits me as I gain the summit like that time on Le Conte, a wind I don’t feel down below but hear as it pummels the high places.
I need this trail to be difficult so that the thump of my heart fills my head.  I need to feel the discomfort that comes with effort. 
I need to be distracted by the color of the lichen on the rocks, by the fragrance of pine, by the sound of water trickling from cracks in the face of whatever it is I’m climbing.

I need to look up and be slightly disheartened by the trail winding on and on ahead, but continue on anyway because there is no other choice other than to turn around. Which of course is no choice at all.