Back Down The Mountain
One brisk morning in Matsuyama, I stepped out in my old running shoes onto pavement freshly moistened by overnight showers. Just days prior, an official announcement confirmed the inauguration of the rainy season. A soft fog of clouds wove between dapples of emerald and hunter greens. The mountain called out, and so my feet began moving in that direction.
Before long I found my easy stride met by gasps and puffs of breath as my run slowed to a brisk hike up a mountainside. Steep with worn soil, loose rock and narrowed by lack of use, the trail switchbacked up the side of the mountain. Hundreds upon hundreds of feet lay beneath me, and my ears popped as I neared what appeared to be light peaking between the thick branches and trees.
Sweet flowers greeted me. A buzz of bees hummed above my head. My imagination wondered what sort of things watched me climb from the brush and grass. I knew I would reach the top. When one gets to a certain point going up, you simply do not back down.
Pushing through muscle shakes and my heart pounding with anticipation, I reached a level area no larger than a small studio apartment. The rugged top, was adorned with shrines, arrangements of rock and other sentimental things. I felt the yell well right up, and so I did. I cried out and wound up laughing at myself. There, alone, atop a mountain I stood looking out over a land as foreign as I felt in my own skin at the moment. No camera accompanied me on this trip. The only evidence I left were heart shapes drawn in rock with another in my hand. I knew the rain may take the sight away, but I hoped my intention to spread love be felt by the next visitor who may come to pass foot on those rocks, atop the mountain in Matsuyama.
Filled with exhilaration and a sense I must share the feeling jetting through my body from the momentous occasion, I realized I must descend this mountain to tell the story. I felt my life a fable. The metaphors I once used become more real than surreal as I recited positively affirming phrases to comfort me in my descent.
So it is this realization, the coming down to share a heightened experience is challenging, more challenging than the ascent. The novel things that encouraged steps forward now taunted me with ideas of falling or loosing my footing. My hands grappled for something to hold onto. My feet felt unsure of the slope of the ground beneath me, but scootch by scootch I knew that what I had acquired up there in the fog of the morning was for me to share, and so I persevered.
Once I made it back to any person willing to endure my excitement, I had to face the feeling I had inside of me could not entirely be shared with any other. Even had I the capability to send the energy through my palm into the heart of another, the feeling was mine and mine only. As I relayed my story, I felt a sense of calm wash over me. I had suddenly made some shift within my being that any thought of mind cannot reach. It is simple. It is true. Coming back down is just as important as going up. Sharing completes the cycle and fuels the following. The story of the mountain, me and the morning is one for remembering, one for living.