Finding purchase has a different meaning for me in the mountains than in the city.
In the city, finding purchase is about acquisition. Accumulation. Here, in the mountains and on our hikes, finding purchase relates to the quest and commitment in choosing which rock to place my boot on, or, deciding where to plant my walking stick before taking the next step.
Finding purchase, I notice, can be a sacred act of letting go of what was grounding for what will support the next step in moving forward. And, in the quiet companionship with my fellow hikers, finding my purchase can also be about the broader question that I brought with me to the mountain.
I stumbled upon this fun photo from our first trip to Durango twelve years ago. One thing I remember about that tourist photoshoot was… the frustration in finding an outfit that would go around me. Kind of ridiculous, I thought. Surely there are tons of us women who are larger than a size 8?
There’s nothing like walking up 218 steps, to 1,182′ elevation, to get the blood flowing. As I huffed and puffed and looked around from way up there (I know, I know – not much of an impressive elevation outside of Texas), I said some prayers for a few folks who I know are struggling. After all, it is called Prayer Mountain (as well as Mount Baldy).
But in short order my mind drifted to just looking at the horizons and earth’s blanket of sprouting greens and bush, and I heard a simpler calling to just enjoy the view. This is prayer, and sometimes, like now, appreciation for God’s work and wonder is the best prayer of all.
Hillscapes. Sun. Tea. Books. Birdsongs. And a new location – on the other side of the hill. Quiet. It takes a little time to unwind. I forget that when planning a trip. And sometimes it takes changing our minds and changing our location as we did last night. It was a good move.