Falling is never fun, and I doubt you need me to tell you that! Falling backwards, with a 40+ pound pack on your back and close to/over a thousand dollars of archery tackle in your hand is a lot less fun!! Yes you’ve just opened another one of my posts about falling while in the mountains. I seem to do this a lot, and am not afraid to admit it, but if you don’t fall nearly as much as I post about it……. Well let me know so I can stop posting about it so often, no need making myself look clumsy! This is not a post about songs to sing while “Another one bites the dust” but more an example of how life and hunting reflect each other in my mind.
A few weekends ago I was hiking up on the mountain and began to lose balance I reached for and caught hold of tree that looked dead in every way shape and form. This tree, or what was left of it, helped me regain balance and saved me from a tumble. I reached the top of the rocky outcropping I was on and sat for a minute to survey. I, like usual, went from just mindlessly glassing to thinking about life in general. I kept coming back to the thought of my recent saving grace, the dead tree. This tree had not “given its life” to save me, like soldiers are doing everyday overseas, as I said earlier this tree was dead when I reached for it. Yet this lifeless thing that looked meaningless kept me from falling 5 feet backwards off a small rocky cliff, not two feet from it laid another fully live tree. I kept asking myself why I had reached for the dead tree and not the living one; of course I fall to the idea that it was pure reaction without thought. I soon began to gather my things and head out all while thinking about this one tree, and my physical reactions to falling. I was impressed with my save but disappointed with my lack of planning, I should have had a good hold before climbing.
Within the next two hours I reached another outcropping that required some climbing, I remembered my earlier incident and laid my bow on top of the small rocky ledge about level with my nose. I walked to where I decided to begin my ascent and looked for a good solid hand hold. About half way up was a small yet strong looking green tree. I grabbed a hold and began to hoist myself up, the tree let loose and down I fell. I laid for a second staring up and comparing the two instances…. Here I was flat on my back after relying on what appeared to be a better choice than what had held me not even a few hours back. My mind began to fill with thoughts of why this tree had not held me, it looked strong and living yet its roots were not deeply dug. The dead tree roots may have went for yards into the ground, yet ill never know because it held strong…..
I began to compare life to my hiking experience as I normally do and I realized that this instance everything was combined. When I begin to fall in life I reach out for others to help me just as others reach towards me for help. Some who come to my aid I figured lost and forgotten and would never expect, and some I figure will be there never show. Some come from my past that seems merely a memory while some of the freshest faces fall away. In hiking there are a million routes and choices, a million trees to grasp and a million chances to fall. In real life nothing changes from that: you have millions of old friends, new faces, challenges, chances and opportunities. Yet you never truly know what will happen when you reach for the next step…..
Don’t let your past escape you so much that you forget that is where your roots are buried. Don’t rely on your present so much that you forget you don’t know what the future holds. Now on top of that I want to point out that only my legs carried me to where I was when I fell, regardless of the trees that saved me and let me down id have never made it that far if it weren’t for my own drive and capabilities. No tree could have gotten me there, just as no friend can carry you to where you need to be in life. RELY ON YOURSELF!!!! You will always have a moment where you need help of others but unless you trust in yourself you will be stuck at the base of the mountain where only grasses grow. Trust me if you think trees do not hold your weight, reach for a blade of grass as you stumble.
I don’t expect many friends from my past to read this just as I don’t expect many new friends to read this but I know for a fact somewhere out there someone is doing exactly what I don’t expect. Thanks to all my friends who have been there and even those who haven’t been there, everything that has happened to this point in my life brought me here. I don’t blame you or hold a grudge against you in any way, actually I’m thankful, I love the way my life is headed and hope you feel the same about yours. I will always be the tree you can grasp for if you need it, whether my roots come up or I stand steady I don’t know but I will do my best to try!
Practice what you try to preach,