Returning back to my Spiritual roots. This was the subject of my favorite blog post, “Frei Family Adventures”. Last time I was on top of half dome at 12 years old. This time, it’s 41 ½ years later and I’m on the bank of Mirror lake, looking up at the front face of half dome in the mist.
I was afraid that this revisitation of a joyous climbing exploit location might be a mental disaster. I was afraid that all I would be able to do is longingly look out of a car window at the beginning of beautiful tails that were calling for me. How would I be able to handle rolling along short bits of handicapped walkways only to be shut down when things got interesting. Will this only be sad? How can you know?
Continuing the thread throughout my reflections, it is best to not think about what we used to be able to do. Rather, engage yourself in the events and challenges that you can, and are engrossing yourself in. It is surprising how naturally this comes, most of the time. I am not really trying to do anything special, I am just trying to do. It turns out that the paved trails were plentiful enough. The park shuttle busses were well equipped for me to be able to strike out on my own. It was important for me to explore in the same fashion that I always have, independently. The beauty that resided in the locations that I could explore was plentiful as well. I took my electric scooter up steep ass climbs and descents that overmatched it in places, adding some fear, challenge and excitement that might seem pathetic to an outsider, but it felt a little like before. One must also learn to not care about how others are perceiving you and your efforts.
I found myself looking more closely at what was around me, studying it, taking my time. On the last night, I rolled by myself up to the bottom of Yosemite falls in the near blackness and in the rain. I sat there for a long time, listening to the rain and thunder of the falls, the same thunder that was so exciting 41 years ago when we were caught on the trail, unprepared. Things like this come in little snippets, learn to appreciate them. Every skill becomes better with practice. When the quantity of what you have is lessened, make better use of what you do have.