dimecres, d’agost 30, 2006

Reaching the Peak (English / Welsh)

Well, at times I have too much going on in this aging cerebrum to catch all the stimuli hurled at me.

So I did read what Nathaniel (you quixotically dear presence in my good port...) wrote when I was rambling on about my dead aunties. However, I missed something (one more admonition not to drink too much before blogging...) . This is what I missed:

"A metaphor I read last night: the peak of the mountain is simultaneously its perfection and the sign of its imminent decline."

Well, I won't really pretened to know why Nathaniel put this in his comment, perhaps he will tell me in a response to this one...

Ta waith, it got me to thinking, since soon, oh, within the next ten years or so, I will reach my own phsyical summit, and thence begin my decline. Probabilty, based on the current knowledge from the quacks, sawbones and witch doctors, tells me that I have not quite reached the halfway mark. My family is rather long lived, a couple notable exceptions notwithstanding. We lived long, fat, and happy (as happy as people from the oozing swamps of the Pocono Plateau can be, really). Chances are, I have many long years of suffering before me.

I remember when I walked with Lynn up yr Eifl on the Llŷn. She said, oh, well it will be a 30 minute hike. Three hours later, because she had chosen the wrong trail, we finally reached the summit. From there I could see where my own blood ancestors, and Mary's and Olwen's too, had watched as the silly, dark, little Romans scurried about for a few centuries, being ignored mostly except to trade. I could see way across Snowdonia, yr Eryri, deep into the heart, the cadarnle of Welsh speaking Wales, and beyond. I could see on the horizon, tiny dark mounds that were Ireland, 90 minutes away on a the highspeed Stena Line from Caergybi to Dun Laoghaire.

That mountain peak is still alive in my memory, the decline forever forestalled by the resplendant beauty of Wales, my Wales, my little blue-green heaven, below my own feet, reinforced by the conversation with the 20-something couple who acheived the summit of yr Eifl where, where the ancient hillfort of Tre'r Ceiri lies, a conversation automatically in Welsh about the beauty below us.

Mae'n hardd, 'tydy?
-ydy, 'wir.... 'Na'r olwg brydfertha' ym Mhen Llŷn!

Still, the walk back down was lovely as well, for the memory of the summit played in Lynn's and my mind, and the views down were so much more lovely than the steep, sheep manured inclines we encountered on our way up.

Still, I'm not sure where the summit of life is.

You know, when we were walking up that mountain, and we reached the moorlands laying covertly in a kind of cwm or bowl along one side of yr Eifl, just before, I said to myself, "Oh finally when we cross that last ridge we will be at the summit."

Then we crossed the ridge and a half mile of moorlands lay before us, with a gentle rise of a couple hundred feet, the ruined walls of ancient Tre'r Ceiri off in the distance, at that moment backgrounded by some mist off the sea that was slowly receding. My heart sank into my shorts. The hike heretofore had been too long, and now the goal plainly in sight, the very idea of continuing on to the ancient fortress was nearly too much.

Perhaps this is how life goes...

Perhaps, the obvious peak is not the moment of perfection. Perhaps the hike to the peak is potmarked by valleys and bowls not really planned for. Perhaps, when we finally get to what be believe to be the end, tired, bedraggled, shocked by those younger than we who get there the same time as we, and who moreoever agree with our evaluation of the view, the short trip down is not the so much the physical decline, but the reward. Surely the peak, physically, is not the end of the journey, and the glory of the journey is not merely the hike to the physical summit. On the way back down, when the hiking may be easier, even when the body is sore, the views are lovely and one has the luxury of enjoying the smaller details and the knowledge that rest is soon to be had.

It is then, maybe, that the real peak, the ultimate goal of the journey is the return to origin. It's a journey we are all taking. Even though the paths may be distinct, we all start, groso modo, in the same place, and we all end up in the same place. The real decline is not in the descent of the mountain, but that the moment when we reach once more the bottom where, due to circumstances beyond any real control, we part ways from the company, or at least the mountain, and contnue on into something else less well defined...

3 comentaris:

Nathaniel ha dit...

Glad as I am to inspire such lovely words, I'm afraid there's no explanation for that addition other than sheer whim and the vague feeling that that metaphor was relevant.

Fletcher ha dit...

My eyes are green.


Gwyddno Schenectady ha dit...

LOL, huh? I done missed something again!