It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.
~Sir Edmund Hillary
The sight of mountains rising high into the clouds of heaven points my mind on a journey to inner peace. The sound of water rising from an unseen source past the horizon tickles my curiosity over the rock filled stream bed into a state of wonderment.
The sight of trees, which as little seedlings broke through rocks, assures me that God provides the least of us with great potential to break through any barrier.
A loved one suggested I take some needed time away from the everyday. Journey up to a place where I could pray and reflect. Get my priorities in order. Take stock.
I communicate rather well on paper, but as every instrument needs an occasional tuning- the compass of my interpersonal skills needed some polishing and resetting back to true north.
To achieve these goals, I needed to go cold turkey from my technology addiction.
Which is how I came to go off the grid for 6 days in the Rocky Mountain State of Colorado. No computer, not much cell phone reception, no email and no camera for the first two days.
A long and winding drive to Estes Park through Boulder is the anecdote to a life creeping along in LA traffic. The town marks the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park- wildflower capital of the region.
One look at wildflowers resting at the edge of the roadside, and I was renewed.
Aster, like I pay to pair with geraniums in the ground cover near my English roses- bobbing their smiling faces up through the grass, to the delight of the local elk.
Ah, the fabled elk. Each weighing in around 850 pounds. I kept to the parking lot. The rental car my shield just in case the pair took offense to my aiming my long lens in its direction.
On the retreat, I faced my devil. My pride.
Fear and Anger are Siamese Twins. When someone is angry- stop and ask- What are you afraid of? I don't know about you, but my greatest sins have been committed when I am afraid. So the more we can do to conquer fear, the happier and more honorable a life we live.
I look forward to exorcising my tendency to leap from having judgement to being judgemental. Want someone to fail- be judgemental or hover. Its like providing cement fins to a swimmer.
I am a recovering fixaholic. I resolutely act to fix anything or anyone, anytime and anywhere. Wrong. I need to focus on just a few priorities and then turn the rest over to God.
I learned that to live on a ledger sheet is to live with all the joy of Ebeneezer Scrooge. This was a new concept: constant mention of price tags unwittingly communicates grandiosity. I will remember to ask if there is a need to know before volunteering prices in everyday conversations.
But most important. Love. There will come a day when someone you love deeply will not be there. You won't be able to hold them or tell them they mean the world to you. That they are your hero and inspire you to breathe on days when it is hard to.
The saddest people I have ever known are those who decided to withhold love. They never intended that would be until it was too late. That is something overwhich we have no control.
Unless there is dishonor in the love: declare it often and loudly.
Refreshed, retooled and restored, it was time to head, like Moses, down the mountain. Before I was out of town, the local celebrity posed for me. An elk clearly identifiable for the Christmas lights entwined in his antlers. I stuck to photographing the majestic animal. I didn't want to be the paparazzi who made him mad asking for an autograph.