Creosote. Clouds. Communion.
It happens, on a mountain.
“A large natural elevation of the earth’s surface rising abruptly from the surrounding level; a large steep hill; remoteness, inaccessibility; a large pile or quantity of something.”
We all have them.
The ones we need to climb in order to keep surviving.
“The sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.”
I had communion with dirt and granite, creosote, saguaro and sky.
On a mountain.
We all want it.
The ache to offer sacred contact to the ones capable of receiving it.
I kept looking at the dirt.
My eyes fixated on stone and dust and step.
One foot after the other.
It was the only way I knew how to make it all the way up.
If I looked too far ahead, I became overwhelmed.
Overwhelm. Where doubt clutches close, and negative affirmations sing loud.
The steps are what lead us onward.
There is no other way.
Each foothold becomes a part of the ascending story.
Each traveling hiker crossing your path has their own story, their own message, their own grief, and their own weight.
Some of them might be kind to you, and engage in an exchange that leaves you feeling lighter, energized, thoughtfully grateful.
Some of them might ignore you altogether.
Everything becomes landscape on a mountain.
The way your lips taste like salt, and the sweat drips down your back, and the curiosity of how your legs can be both shaky and strong at the same time.
Trails hold their own tricks.
All those false summits can go to hell.
Those peaks that you believed in which never appeared.
Those hopes that kept rising only to disappear once you allowed yourself to climb into their holy invitation.
“The highest point of a hill or mountain.”
Those damn things.
They are always just beyond the next ridge.
Just beyond this next heartache.
Just beyond the unbearable loneliness.
Just beyond the empty loss.
Just beyond the challenge of change and transition and not knowing what the heck you are doing within these uncharted paths.
Just beyond your unknowing.
Just beyond the cocooning from what you were into what you are meant to be.
Just beyond the negotiations and the Not yet and the silence and the fear that keeps rising up inside your chest.
One foot in front of the other.
One foothold and then the next.
Scramble if you must.
Traverse those tricky spots.
Make your way.
Step by step.
Conquer that climb in front of you.
Reach that mother-freaking summit.
You can, and you will.
Every inch brings you closer.
Do not forget this.
Feel the cool breeze of the finish.
Notice the butterflies joyfully existing in flight once you arrive.
Watch the sparrows dive from up above.
It’s fun to see what elevation does to your systems.
Nourish. Take a bite of that apple.
Shine from the saturated sweat of hard work.
Move into the depths with the confidence of knowing you can rise.
You will rise.
You do rise.
Whenever you want.
Every summit a witness to your unbroken strength.
Jessamyn Turgesen is a curious creature who explores the path to nowhere, yet somehow consistently finds a way back home. She is equally stubborn and soft, grounded yet mid-flight, and believes in how the fluidity of water transforms the certainty of stone. Her greatest aim is to be intimately true while juggling desire, need and responsibility in this one wild life. No one makes her more true than her three forgiving children. The desert is her landing place, the written word is home. She is an explorer of life, of land and of expression. You can read more of her discoveries by visiting her website.