I cleared my own calendar on Wednesday.
Things at home, and at work, had been demanding so much space, so much energy, that I could feel myself spinning out of control. I needed grounding and stability, and a break from it all. I needed to get out of signal, out of touch, and find myself a good pace among trees and rocks and flowers.
I needed the mountain. She was calling to me.
Mount Hood stands prominent in my life as a person who lives in Portland, Oregon. The distant stratovolcano is a sense of place and vulnerability to me, where at any moment, she could blow her top, but at the same time, beckons me with every glance I take towards her, to come and be among her crags and rocks and trails and paths. I love it up there, on her various outcroppings and vista points. I love the smell, the sound, the feel of the ground beneath my feet on her slopes.
The hike was exactly what I needed to find my footing. Decisions about my current situation, my future steps, and how I feel about the direction of my life, were made. The shape of my heart, who occupies it, the level of energy I devote to them, and to myself, were all brought into balance for a while. I shed some tears as my mind relaxed and my body was in motion, and it felt like a much-needed release.
I have some major changes to make in my life, especially with regards to how I earn my living, and how I interact with those around me, and I need to be brave enough to believe in myself. It’s the same bravery I engage every time I tackle a trail up there, with loose stone and steep cliffs, and opportunities to become injured or killed at every juncture. If I can tackle these trails with confidence and agility, surely I can face down the challenges in my life ahead of me that require the same skills.