Saturday, November 19, 2011

Good Days, Bad Days

This morning I woke up excited. Peering out of my sleeping bag and through the rear window of my van I saw the North Sixshooter lit by a golden beam of sunrise, rearing out of the dark desert toward ashen clouds above. Two days ago I stood on its summit, laughing incredulously at the beauty of a magnificent sunset seen from atop an island in the sky. I was glad I hadn't planned to go up there today. The growing storm clouds hinted at foul weather to come.

No, I was excited because today is a rest day. A well-earned one at that. The last two weeks have been full of fantastic climbing in Indian Creek, truly one of my favorite places to climb. I swear I'll never tire of driving past these sandstone cliffs at sunset, watching the stone turn from orange to maroon to chocolate while the blue sky above burns away in a fiery explosion of reds, pinks and golds. I've climbed some hard cracks, gotten spanked on some easy ones, and loved nearly every minute of it. These have been good, good days.

Yet life is a magical balancing act and the good cannot always come without the bad.

I logged into my email this afternoon in Moab and learned that a good friend of mine from college died earlier this week. He and I were both in a street-percussion group and we spent many hours banging on trashcans, slapping plastic tubes together, and laughing hysterically at our own terrible jokes. I was pretty crushed to hear the news and still can't quite believe it. I feel terrible not only for his loss but also for his family and others who knew him even better than I did. He was only 25 years old.

What makes me feel even worse is that this was the first time I had thought about him in a long time. I've often wondered how he was doing or where he was, but I never took the initiative to look him up and give him a call or send him a letter. Hell, I never thought that I would get an email telling me he was dead. And that's the terrible thing about it. I wish that it could have happened some other way, but my friend's death reminds me of how important it is to let your friends know how much you cherish them each and every time you see them. You never know when you might not have another chance to do so.

Walking around Moab after reading that email I called up a couple of friends that I hadn't spoken to in awhile. They were surprised to hear from me, but glad nonetheless. We didn't speak for long, but I made sure to let each of them know that I care about them no matter how long we go between phone calls. If you want a surefire way to put a smile on someone's face, go call a friend you haven't seen in awhile or send them a letter. They'll love it.

The relationships that we have with others are truly some of the most important things we will ever have in this world. If you're reading this, even if it's been awhile since you and I have spoken, know that I care about you and wish you the best. If you want to talk, always feel free to give me a call (206-683-1672). I'd love to hear from you. If you send me your address I'll send you a postcard from wherever I am. I promise.

1 comment:

Muriel said...

You are right about relationships. They are what makes the world go round. Even quick interactions can bring joy to our lives. You bring joy to many others -especially me. I think of you every day and wish you joy and great climbing!
Love Mom