Sunday, August 19, 2018

“Just A Little Higher...”

Just climb a little higher”, the Outward Bound Instructor had said three times now.
"Just climb a little higher".
We were leading our group on a difficult mountain scramble and I had taken on the role of route finding. I have since come to so enjoy finding a way over rock and scree and vertical terrain; but back then I had no experience in this artful skill at all. My novice perspective at that time and limited outlook did not really let me see past my own immediate position on the mountain.
Being so focused on my own little world of rock and exposure, I don't think I was being of much assistance to our group. It was a very good thing that on this day I was being shadowed by one of our Instructors.
 Always there, much like my real shadow, for support and guidance. I couldn't count the times I was confused about where to reach or step next, yet each time that Instructor just quietly said, "Just climb a little higher”.
 I then saw what I hadn't noticed before - almost as if a new route appeared before my eyes. Each time with a slight change of perspective came different options; more choices of where and how to move.
After the last time these guiding words were said, then there was no more route to find.
Instead a vista that brought a tear to my eye had opened up; an expanse that was there so quickly I was surprised. The most blue of blue sky's shimmered above our heads and just to the side was the traditional summit cairn.
This learning metaphor from such real experience has assisted me so well over the years when finding my way again on new terrain in adventures and life. 
All I have to do, to be able to see more clearly, to gain new perspectives, is just remind myself to just climb a little higher.....

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