As a preface to a forthcoming blog post (finally, some words! it has been awhile, indeed), I wanted to share two photos, one new, the other old, from outdoor adventures in two of my favorite locations. I had the opportunity to attend a presentation last night by Mike Libecki (mikelibecki.com). I’ll take a quick crack at describing this guy, and it most likely won’t be particularly eloquent: crazy, epic, amazing adventurer who goes on solo expeditions to “virgin earth” in hot pursuit of untouched rock climbing routes in the Earth’s remotest places. Let’s face it: anyone whose lingo features most prominently such phrases as “oh, the sweetness of life,” “the time is now,” and “don’t ration your passion” is simply awesome, and should serve as model for the “rest of us,” for those of us that struggle to adopt Eckhart’s “live in the present” tactic at all turns. I’m saying too much, when in fact I should be allowing the photographs to speak for themselves, but just a few more words…apparently I’m not so keen on rationing my passion on this pristine, bluebird morning in Utah’s Wasatch. At the conclusion of Libecki’s presentation on mind-blowing adventures in eastern Greenland and in Afghanistan, he started calling out numbers for a small raffle featuring gear/trail snacks donated by some of his big-name sponsors. It’s human nature to get stoked about winning “free” stuff, but I honestly didn’t need any of the gear that he was giving away, even for $5.00/ticket. Serendipity struck. When Libecki called out my ticket number for the “grand finale” item, I accepted into my possession a beautiful ice ax-like dagger that he picked up on his latest adventure in Afghanistan. Needless to say, I was delighted to receive a genuine memento from Libecki’s adventures and from his interaction with local cultures and populations, a sense of connection to his passion, to his adventure, and to his broader story. On my walk home under pristinely starry skies and through a welcoming cluster of snow-covered spruce trees, I started thinking about the passion that fuels our adventure in the first place, the in-the-moment experiences that keep the flame alive, the thoughts and emotions that we take with us at the conclusion of adventure, and the itch to venture forth, yet again, that develops soon thereafter. For me, the constant in this wild and wonderful constellation is an urgent sense of connectedness to and appreciation for the natural world. The knowledge that mountains, rivers, valleys, fjords, glaciers, and even beaches (yes, I like to unwind with some mindless lounging…occasionally) await my light and respectful footprints whets my appetite for more…every single day.
I’ve already said too much, and now it’s time to feel some winter sun on my weathered cheeks.
Flowery, Muir-like language aside: the world is simply an amazing, amazing place.