What motivation kept me slogging up this mountain on a sodden, overcast day? I found the answer along the way.
I realized I climb because I seek intangibles in the tangible.
Though my very tangible body sought to stop me, I kept going, letting the purple droop of penstemon, each creamy disk of yarrow, and each red flame of paintbrush awaken my need for joy, for beauty. Each bird song and sighting opened my heart to love, to delight.
I trek in the mountains because I must. Because staying home or walking only on city streets would end, ultimately for me, in despair.
I need growing things to remind me not to give up. The natural world's beauty and rhythms propel me forward, for even after a burn, which truly wiped out all the trees in its path, the woods are regenerating.
Colors blossomed. The brown creepers were repopulating, a brilliant yellow-and-orange western tanager sang from a snag.
I enter the woods not knowing which intangibles I seek, just trusting I will find what I need along the way.
All I have to do is look.