Giraud Peak

​No words or photos can effectively convey the depth of this trip: the epicness of the landscape, the open rawness ​of my heart, the depths at which I was blasted open, again and again, and then wholed in ways that I couldn't even have dreamed imaginable. 

Giraud. When I walked away this time, crying tears of joy, hope, and gratitude, I promised to hold the image and feeling of this special mountain with me, as I continue climbing mountains for the rest of my life. 

I am grateful for life. I am grateful to struggle, dance, laugh, play, love, die, and live again, diving deep into the dark, to emerge even more brightly into the light. I am grateful to know what being fully alive feels like for me. 

My face sun-burnt and entire body sore, screaming with exhaustion and delight, I hop from stone to stone, my feet light, my body buoyant. As I leap up, I am in flight: a bird, borne of freedom, uplifted on the wind. As I land down, feet initially pointed to grab a good grip on the stone, then knees bending to gracefully drop myself, plumb line through the spine, weight sinking down through my feet, completely solid, deer-like, graceful, earthen, weighted. I laugh and cry into the stones and Earth, this Earth that holds my blood, knows my tears, and sing songs of gratitude, freedom, wholeness, and being. This song of being, this dance of simultaneous knowing and questioning, the cycles pulling faster and faster as the knowing lies within the questioning, my breath leaping and landing with my body across the stones, my thoughts taking flight with the descending clouds, my heart floats across the pure alpine lake, meandering down the streams, down and down to the Ocean, into the heart of the Earth, to evaporate back up to the Sky. I dropped down from this Sky, once upon a time, to land, gentle footed and singing, upon this Earth. 

I don't know where exactly, but I do know, "Up."
And once "up" has been achieved, then there is, "Down."

One foot after another, I leap... and pray. 

(Below are 31 of the 300 images that I made, on this magnificent August trip. The images are made on an iPhone, thus perhaps grainy. If you can, I'd go explore the Sierra Nevadas, in person. They are truly breath-taking, and beyond photography. I hope that my journey, though I left out the details (too personal), may inspire and inform a bit of your own life journeys, the mountains that you climb, as well. Solstice blessings, my friend.)