Monday, November 12, 2012

2ish days and nights in the wilderness

Friday afternoon I set out with our 5 graduates and the wilderness fellow, in what was at one point 16 degree weather, to complete the last camping trip during their time at Eagle Rock. The freezing temperatures made me want to cry. I realized on this trip that I am not a camper. At least, not a winter camper. Surrounded by super outdoorsy people, for awhile I felt guilty about my lack of exuberance for all things camping, but then remembered it's ok to not love everything. Not only do I not love camping in the freezing cold, I flat out hate it. There. I said it.

This weekend was a challenge, not only because of  how the cold affects me physically, but because of what that kind of cold triggers in me psychologically and emotionally. There are ghosts that still haunt me in the cold darkness.

Now that that's out of the way, I must say, I do love spending time with my students. They made every bitter cold moment worth it through their corny jokes, intelligent insights and opinions, and especially when they grabbed my hand to help me when I was having trouble finding my footing. They kept me going- literally and figuratively. 

Making the trek up Bone Pipe.

Mimi helped me up the rocks.

I love these girls (Sandra, Yesenia, Mimi).

Yesenia bundling up.

Eliza, the wilderness fellow, making breakfast
and Jharid who waited for me when I was slow
hiking down. 

Looking off the top of Bone Pipe into the white out.

Taber relaxing on the rock.

In spite of being in a state of perpetual cold, I couldn't help but be amazed by the environment around me. Sublime beauty seems unreal. Mountain filled landscapes appear to be a painting. A night sky gorged with brilliant stars seems like a backdrop, that is, until you gaze so intensely into the infinite space that you can no longer doubt the depth of its profound existence- and in some small way, begin to recognize your own. Under the cloak of bright moonlight, I began to understand the insignificant significance of my place in this world. Ghosts and all.

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