Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Escape to Anthony's Nose, On the Appalachian Trail for a Day

We woke up looking at the morning light.
Caroline was painting.
But the road was beckoning. 
So we made our way North up to Garrison.
"Lets hike up to Anthony's Nose," she suggested.
We'd always said we'd do it. And so we did.
The hike across the Bear Mountain began on a stretch of the iconic Appalachian Trail. 
Up we hiked.
"Its like El Cebreiro," she reflected.  
That was our hike through the Galacian leg of the Camino de Santiago this summer. 
The crisp winter air, finally winter air, filled us. 
"Its like food."
We hiked up, scrambled through the rocks, this ascent after ascent, past a pond, where we recalled days and days of our youth, when playing outside all day, was all we did. 
Finally, we made it to the top to see the majestic Hudson River.  
Manhattan in the distance to the South, West Point to the West, the Bear Mountain Bridge just below.
Breathing feeling good in this odd winter, where days have been just too balmy. 
For a day, it felt crisp, finally. 
And we didn't have to talk about El Nino.
Many of the leaves had not even fallen, the birds were still up here, having decided not to fly north. 
Instead we talked about other trails, from the Pacific Coast to Italy.
We wondered about the revenge nature lapses on those of us who hike in ill weather, against the advice or others who suggest we hike in harmony with the world, instead of dominating it. 
"Remember Sacajawea?" I recalled, remembering the hikers with Lewis and Clark.
"Their guides said you can't hike in January and still they hiked into a storm."
And it consumed them. 
I thought about the yin and yang of such moments, the image of the Garden of Eden. 
The dialectics of nature are everywhere, the beauty and the chaos.
Of living with as opposed to on top of.
But Engels didn't want a revolution. 
Still the narratives of dystopia are everywhere.
But what is the counter narrative?
While the images of fear and violence are everywhere in our culture, for a moment on the mountain, the air seemed to nourish us.

We listened to Elvis on the way home. And i thought about Benjamin.
“The angel of history flying backwards watching the carnage pile up.”
Even with chaos all around, there are other possibilities.

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