Meeting With Mountain Me

The mountain version of me forever waits up in the high country, or in the woods, or by a riverside, to remind “city me” why he should get out more.

We sit in beautiful, even sacred places, talking about life and peace and being centered in what’s really important. We laugh and tell stories and even sing. Mountain me is eternally patient, ever reminding city me that this, this right here, is why you fight through the inertia, the driving, the weather, the to-do list, the fatigue, and the depression, to get out here.

It’s because every single time you do it, you feel better, and we get to reconnect, and you remember and recover a big, important part of who you are and have always been. Every time you bring some of that energy back home with you. And every single time you say, “Man, I’m so glad I came out. Why don’t I do this more?”

I know, you’re right, City Me will say, and Mountain Me always smiles, and maybe sighs, because they have this talk all the time, and he knows City Me will go back to the city and struggle all over again — struggle with life, at least a certain version of it, and struggle with the same decision as always: do something that will make him feel better, develop a little positive momentum, move him back toward sacred places … or sink deeper into a funk. Or just mentally wander off. Decide to go later. Spend some time making plans instead of pulling on his walking shoes and jacket and actually leaving the house.

There are other me’s, activated and enhanced at other times and in other ways. Writing Me. Travel Me. Community Me. Sexual Me. Bummed Out Me. Distracted Me. Worried Me. Sometimes life feels like a tour of these “people,” not within me as much as around me. Who to hang out with today? Which “me” that is, in the center, making that decision, is an interesting question. Sometimes I wonder about it.

Usually, though, I am just “in” one of those me’s, not thinking about it too much. I write, I work, I daydream, I get through the day, I try to connect with people, I try to avoid people, I dream dreams and make plans, and every now and then I stop to take stock, to judge my progress or lack of it, and then life becomes a weird head game of aspirations and judgements and negotiations.

And all the while, Mountain Me is up there waiting, sitting quietly beside a creek under the trees, perfectly at ease, probably watching the whole thing with a thin smile on his face, waiting for me to fight through whatever barriers I have erected today to get back out there, to reconnect, and to remember.

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