Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mount Sentinel Double

"Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart." Proverbs 3:3
I had the great fortune of standing on top of Mount Sentinel twice today: once alone and once with Dave Massey, First Presbyterian Churches' Interim Youth Director (trail name, "Big D").

Today, after a sluggish day yesterday - methotrexate and/or arava are slowing me down! -, I resolved to push through the side effects and get up the mountain. Sometimes you simply have to puff out your cheeks, shake your head and make that "bllllllllll" sound (picture an adult entertaining a baby). Following the work day, I hiked the ridge trail of Sentinel alone, making for a rather uneventful, yet enjoyable outing. Sigur Ros was in my ears and joy was in my heart. 

I then cruised on over to the clinic for a quick date with a phlebotomist, who promptly drew my blood and covered the damage with a Garfield bandaid. 

Now for the good stuff. After a rather swift, yet productive, Youth Committee meeting at First Pres church, Big D and I headed for the hills for a night hike of Mount Sentinel.

Hiking alone is relatively predictable: familiar iPod playlists, the general cacophony of Missoula/I-90/woods and the characters/songs that come alive in moments of deep, rhythmatic ennui. Of course the woods are a spectacular place full of beauty and life, but like any place that much time is spent even the spectacular can become ordinary. 

Anyways, hiking with friends and acquaintances - and probably enemies - provides a wholly unpredictable experience spurred on by the spirit of the wood. Movement and beauty conspire to dissolve our greatest worries and deepest fears, resulting in something close to pure, uninterrupted conversation. Tonight was no exception. Dave and I discussed the joys of working with the youth at First Pres, which ascended, then descended (literally, tracking our hike) into a soul-bearing discussion on Christianity. Soul-bearing in this sense: as is there wont, the woods extracted honest responses to questions of faith that are left shielded by the noise/pace of the "concrete jungle". Dave is a good friend. A great friend. The best sort of friend that helps you access that which is latent. 

Hiking solo, hiking with a friend, these are the simple joys of life.

Now, time for that shot of Humira.

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