Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work; a future.
To be courageous is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences.
To be courageous is to seat our feelings deeply in the body and in the world: to live up to and into the necessities of relationships that often already exist, with things we find we already care deeply about: with a person, a professional future, a possibility in society, or with an unknown that begs us on and always has begged us on.
To be courageous is to stay close to the way we are made.
We met in camp at 3:30am and bushwhacked our way to the trail by headlamp, the tree canopy obscuring any view of the stars. I wondered how many critters we sent fleeing from their beds as we crashed our way through the dark.
For two hours we climbed by lamp. As we approached the last, steepest section of trail, a purple and orange glow seeped over the horizon. I picked up my pace, not wanting to miss that moment when the sun would come cracking over the ridge line. Gordon and Mark sprinted ahead.
At the top I fought to catch my breath. The orange was spreading now. One last climb—we jogged the wooden stairs to the top of the fire tower. Oh, and what a fire it was.
This dainty variscite ring is a size 8.5 and is looking for its forever home. May contain traces of pre-dawn mist and forest floor. Available in the shop.
We escaped for a few days to upstate New York. Mark’s great uncle built a hunting camp there decades ago, a little structure with bunks enough to sleep 12 men.
We slept in the truck, stacked some wood (I think I carried two wheelbarrow loads and left the rest to the boys—I was promised a vacation!), walked the trails, listened to stories, and drove around looking at land for sale. With any luck, Mark’s Dad will have a spot of his own here sometime in the next year or two.
Highway rails were jumped, moose were spotted, beers were had. It was hot like July should be.