The beautiful thing about a place where nothing operates the way you expect is those moments when everything somehow miraculously comes together and what usually seems impossible becomes reality. The dust turns to gold and floats in the air. Streaks of light pierce through the storm clouds. Take nothing for granted. Why go back? To make sure i get there every five years. A pilgrimage to defy the path of least resistance. But seriously, why? To have an honest experience with kenya. To find out for myself what my relationship with this place is. Now that weve both grown up a little. Practically speaking? To scout mt kenya expidition.
i was awake in the middle of the night so i drove. up into the foothills where snow fell yesterday. the goal was to reach san gabriel peak before sunrise. i arrived at the trail head and switched off the headlights. darkness. the silence from the stereo revealed a howling wind outside. i sat there for 15 minutes before starting the car and driving back towards the highway. my mind was in turmoil. so many good reasons to go home. get warm. get nourishment. read a book while taking a shit and go to bed. i forgot my gloves, wind jacket, and headlamp after all. three fatal errors as regards to the life of todays adventure. i was almost shouting at myself in a steep argument. 'your being such a pussy!' i stopped the car and sat for 10 more minutes before I knew that I could not live with going home now. 9 out of 10 people wouldn't have hesitated. but it's the 1 out of 10 that make it when things get really tough. the ones that head off stupidly into the dark and cold because they secretly hate themselves. it's that special club that gets to experience the sunrise casting golden steaks onto the peak of a mountain rising to meet the new day. you have to fight for it, but when you do you become a part of the blessed few. for all the times that I felt pressure to work instead of running. for all the times that it was socially awkward to go running instead of hooking up with chicks. for all the times that it was inconvenient to go out but turned into one of the best runs of my life. for all of that, I never once remember a day that I chose work over running. Im not fool enough to think that I would be happily married today if I had spent more time relating to girls instead of running. I don't remember the morning stomach aches, the wet & cold days, or the stress from work. what I do remember are the sunrises in the mountains, the snow capped peaks, and the feeling of completeness that comes with a day out in the wilderness. I remember finishing my first marathon. I remember my second one and my first 50 mile, 100k, and 100 mile too. I could probably sit and recall every race I've ever run. But ask me what project I was stressing out about two weeks ago and i'd be stumped. if all we are is what we do, and all we have is memories of it... then let us focus on the good stuff.
In my head are mountains reaching towards the heavens. a star blazes down on the surface of a rocky planet below. There is nothing here but water, air and stone. single cell organisms gathering, dividing, multiplying. There is motion, growth, and death. the stone mountain is ground to rubble by a single drop of water. Replication and adaptation. The wind screams silently above. the fire feeds a thousand blue and yellow pigments forming a green ember that bursts upward through the apathetic rubble and chaos reaching for the light. Devouring, it dies as it grows. Respiration, pulse, rythm. Exhaust, suffocation, darkness. A shiny green bulb emerges from the tangle of weeds that holds the future. A brilliant threatening display of violet and red emerges. There is aggresion, desire, consumation. The spring dries as the offspring consumes. A constant yet franetic struggle, fragility ever present. The leaf, the tree, a forest. Energy, minerals, and molecules changing shape a thousand times. Heat rises as cool descends. Cells sweat and dehydrate. A stillness overcomes. atoms stir. Disappear and transform. Fire trapped erupts as fuel cascades towards its most stable form. The darkness paints itself across thick bark as its appetite is quenched. A mark of ownership. Skeletons, outlines, memories. A fog whisps over the land unseen. Far across the hills the sun sets then it rises. A planet breaths.