I grew up in Durango, climbing mountains with both my parents, but especially my father. He was a man of the wilderness, quiet, steady. There was a deep well of understanding that coursed through him, a wisdom and a comfort. I always felt so safe following in his footsteps, one after the other, up, up, up until we couldn’t go up any more.
I felt like we were going to our place of worship up there, feeling so alive and expansive. Connected to the earth and to the deepest part of myself. My earliest experience of what is called “yoga” was up in those high places, where I felt my connection to the earth as steady and sweet. Landing in my heart and my body, proud to have made it to the top, I remembered that deep Self, beyond the daily experience. I felt myself as whole, perfect, healed.
July 20, 2009. It had been a while since
my dad and I had climbed together, so I was excited to see him, hang out, and share precious time in the mountains. Long’s Peak in Estes Park: we started early, 3AM, with headlamps. Watching the sunrise from above tree-line, we took our own route up to the loft, rather than the standard keyhole; which meant we were totally alone on the mountain for hours. He wasn’t feeling well; we thought it was last night’s dinner. Still,one step at a time, we continued up.
Crossing snow elds, scrambling up and over the more technical sections, we made
it up to where the routes meet. He told me he was really feeling the altitude and to go ahead and summit, he’d make his way up slowly, taking his time. I remember thinking it was the rst time it seemed like dad really was getting older. He would be 62 in another month.