3.1.18 Mt. Darth
I once took a wrong path and ended up climbing a mountain. It was January then too and the summit grass cracked as I sat on it. I remember I had three apples in my bag. I ate two and fed the cores to the wild mountain ponies who joined me. I remember lots of things about that day, but the thing I remember most is sitting on the cold ground of the Long Mynd and feeling my heart as if it were held in cupped hands and raised to the sky.
Today, in a different January and a different life, I felt that same lifting, or a ghost of it. It had enough familiarity for me to be able to trace it back to that other time, only this time, the view that coaxed it out was the soft landscape of my cat's long back, back-lit by the kitchen window. Getting there today - twenty slow, careful steps - left my heart as wild as that climb into Shropshire's clouds, and so I sat and admired the view just the same: my cat sat on the windowsill. I climbed the dip and peak of his fur, and there, there again, something in me soared.
There are some who would scoff that my cat's back doesn't count as a proper mountain, but I climbed it all the same today and who are they to say.
We value remembering more than experiencing. We like to be able to slot a new 'I went to' into our identities and to feel like we've made ourselves bigger by it, but it is the same you that visits each place, whether it is a cat or a mountain. What you bring with you can be nothing or everything, and what you leave with can be too.
I want to be a person whose heart doesn't care if it climbed a cat or a mountain. I want to hone that lifting until my heart gets to live in the sky. I think I'm nearly there.