Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Passing Forward Moment.....


I have just deleted what I thought was a rude comment about my approach to remaining anonymous...but it did provide pause for some pondering about those times where I have stepped out from that position...
A few summers ago, I remember...a scramble up WindTower in K-Country. This mountain is only one of many enjoyable climbs and scrambles in that beautiful area. Its views, especially of the Spray Lakes, is inspiring. The route ascends above West Wind Pass, and that day a buddy and I had seen some Prayer Flags along the route rustling in the very early morning breezes. They were set up in some trees and almost continually brushed by the winds that are funneled through the pass. There was a large group of youth who also were heading up WindTower that day. We were ahead quite a ways but could hear them with all their excitement and energy.
My friend and I were wiling away some time near the pass after summiting and as they began their own descent. Most of their group went ahead as did the trip leaders, with three of the youth catching up at the end. At the very end hiked a young man who seemed to be having a very challenging day...
My friend set out at his own pace while I shadowed these three for a while. At a short break, where I caught up, we chatted and they asked about some of the twists and turns in the trail as they weren't too sure of themselves. We decided to pace each other down the rest of the way. Them with their energy; me the slow one at the end, with the young man. He only talked a bit, kept his head down, and just kept going...even though he seemed really tired. He didn't say much about his day when asked. At the trailhead he slowed a little more, then quietly boarded the bus with his group...
I wondered what was going through his young mind at that moment...And moments are all we have... so I impulsively decided to introduce myself to one of their trip leaders. I asked about the young man and how his summit day had gone. Their leader said he had worked very, very hard...even carrying another youth's water...but he had not made the summit of WindTower...
It seemed he was the very last in his group both up and down the mountain and it might have showed on his face as it likely was his first possible summit...
This struck me as one of those opportunities where we all have to seize a tiny moment and pass something along...So I inquired with the leader if he would mind giving the youth something when they were later talking as a group about their day. I took out a Summit Stone and the note with it from my pack and explained briefly what I usually do with them...
"Would you mind passing this on to that young man", I said, and please tell him too that, "I've been climbing over twenty years and I didn't make my first summit either...", and that, "Many times those who work the hardest, are often not among the fastest, or the ones who make the top...".
Then I carried on...
I often wonder what adventure experiences this young man is out challenging himself now with...I remember how hard he worked that day...how stoic and quiet he was about his experience...I hope that he reflects on how we all have our 'own summits'...and also hope that maybe, just maybe, he will look at that Summit Stone from his WindTower day, and then pass something of his own experiences along to someone else he sees on their own journey...
There is always such a moment.....
DSD


10 comments:

Leaf44 said...

What a nice gesture. Would love to be given something like this.

r4t4 said...

Been up ths route. Saw those flags. Cool idea with the stone thing.

Anonymous said...

That was an exceptional thing to do for that youth.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Very nice.

SAHBA said...

I think that young person will remember your gesture for a very long time.

WSPR said...

Our hiking party discovered two of your DSD's Summits Stones at Sentinal Pass. What an unexpected mystery they were!
You hid each one by one of the large cairns.
We even looked for others concealed there.
They are wondeful and the adventure muse is captivating.
We admire your purpose.
WSPR

Washington said...

What an exceptionally thoughtful gesture,
Washington

Miles to Go said...

"Sweet Moment!"
Miles to Go.

Anonymous said...

Cool Mountain!
Nice Gift.

Gwen said...

I work with Youth At Risk
and I am impressed by your wonderful journey of giving these.