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  • Writer's pictureSteve Szakal

A Mountain of Truth

The mountains, the forest, and the sea, render men savage; they develop the fierce, but yet do not destroy the human.

~Victor Hugo

In a world of bullshit very few things have truth. Mountains have truth. Its is where I find the most peace. There is something honest about climbing a mountain. It takes grit, stamina, dedication, and mental toughness. A bit like life. The climb up is hard. Sometimes you have to grab the cold earth with your hands to make your way forward. Other times you can fly up that fucker like it was nothing. Sometimes you fall. Sometimes you have no idea how the hell you're going to make it to the top.

I have been climbing and falling my whole life. I usually get back up, but sometimes I've laid on the ground for a few a few years. Sometimes we don't know why we just lay there. Fear, pain, sadness, I don't really know. The first 30 or so years were a blur of climbing and falling. This might be true for every one, honestly I really don't know.

But I do know this. The hill, the mountain, and the climb are real. You pass other brave souls out on trail and sometimes you are so out of breath you really can't say anything. But you smile, make eye contact and you don't know exactly what they are thinking but you have some idea. Through extreme effort a humans wordless poetry comes out. You see them and they see you. They are on some sort of quest. Mine quest belongs to me. No one can help me get up this climb but me. You may be around people but you are alone. That's what makes it so perfect.

My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.

~Aldous Huxley

All of the hard work comes in the ascent. You make it to the top. Maybe you get a glimpse of the sun cutting through the rocks and trees. Maybe your just glad you fucking made it. You did it alone. Now the descent is your time to let go. Let gravity do the work. Smile, laugh, let your arms spread out like a bird and let that shit go. When I was a kid I used to run down old coal dumps. Covered in black soot. Knees bloody. Hands filthy. But I was happy as shit. We lose that joy as we get older. Fuck that. I will enjoy every downhill till the last god damn day on this earth. Don't ever let anyone take away your downhill.

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

~John Muir

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