The High Places

No matter the time of year, I head to the top of things. Climbing, hiking, skiing. I gravitate up, drawn to the high places. Looking up is not enough. I need to be up.

The mountains have always called me. When given a choice of ocean or mountains, I will always prefer the latter. I like feeling small in the shadows of peaks as much as I like the freedom and awe I feel atop them. Standing in a valley not being able to see what is on the other side as much as I like standing in awe before an incredible expanse of land laid out before my eyes.

No matter how many times I go up, the world I enter does not lose its wonder. The crystalline waters, the twisted and gnarled trees, landscapes uniquely beautiful in their barrenness, the different taste of the air, shorter seasons (noticing touches of fall in August while there is still snow from the previous winter). It is as easy to imagine myself on a different planet as it is hard to fathom the diverse nature of the one we live on.

What is the draw of high places? Why do I always go up? There is the challenge and growth; mental, physical and emotional. There is the joy of place; free from concrete, crowds of people and computer screens. There is also something more basal, primal and real. Being on top of things affords a unique perspective, one that provides different insight, inspiration and a sense of grounding each time. Something I have yet to find anywhere else.