On the Mountain

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.


I can’t stop time. It keeps marching, generally right across my face.

I can, however, make some quiet promises to myself going forward. Things I want to change, develop, spend time and focus on, and the like.

I want to grow my heart some more. 2021 saw my truly break free of old frameworks for how love works, how the heart beats, where my energy flow goes. I met, and am still in the process of meeting, lovely men, some of whom have drawn even closer to me, taking up space both in my mind and in my heart, in ways that have enhanced my humanhood. Next year, I want to take those deeper, find out what makes them so special to me, and in the process, hopefully, foster a connection that’s as strong for them as it is and has been for me.

I don’t have any hard/fast resolutions for 2022.

I tend to set those around my birthday, my personal New Year, and keep them close to the breast. They’re my little personal birthday gifts to myself.

Perhaps the thing I really want to focus on, outwardly, is fostering a sense of safety and power that emanates out into the world. I’ve enjoyed finding my own center, my own gravity, from which to grow. The central core of my self provides me with a stability these days, unlike any I’ve ever known. I want to share that power, that calm, with those who need it. Social media, social situations, spaces where others are navigating the wilderness, all of these are areas I could show up, be present, and offer a wide furry chest and strong arms. More and more, it seems that kind of energy is needed out there.

In the meantime, whatever shows up as a challenge to be dealt with in 2022 is where I’m headed.