I see my hill as part of the earth, shot up like some great volcanic energy that needs to be ridden, walked, climbed...challenged. And I am just the woman to challenge it, to give it something. Part of me. Each time I climb my hill I give some of me to it. These days it is the energy I have that is so great it has no where to go but out, and sometimes that going out will burn like volcanic lava. I can't burn and destroy those around me, and I can't keep it inside because I would burn and destroy me. My hill...she can take it.
My hill welcomes me whenever I approach her. She usually hums a greeting of, "Nice to see you. Whatcha got for me today?" And my hill takes whatever it is I have to give her. It could be absolute fury, where I pound the straight-up, curving path to touch the pole at the top and then the bottom in six minutes flat just to turn around and do it again three more times, or it could be me moving at a slower, powerful pace with a weighted pack on, or it could be me just climbing and secretly letting the tears fall. Any way I give it, she accepts it.
Whenever I am done with her, she leaves me a bit more me than when I came. She's a friend that is simply there, to listen and feel me. Supportive. She makes it so that I don't fall and drown myself into a bottle of Irish whiskey. She makes it so I don't spew words of complete maddening anger at those around me. She saves me from climbing into bed and pulling the covers up over my head, never to emerge. She lets me know I am alive. She lets me know there are better days in my future. My energy is so raw and so great during this maddening awakening and living that it needs to go somewhere and she absorbs it... because she can. It doesn't hurt her, it doesn't scar her, it won't leave her bleeding. Nope. She takes it and uses it to make her rise even better.
Today was one of those days, where in the heat of the late afternoon Summer Solstice, I scaled her twice, up and down, in almost seventeen minutes flat with an almost thirty pound pack on. I was dripping with my salty sweat and it burned my eyes when it pooled into them. I pushed hard against her, shaking with a maddening force from within me, and she took it. I couldn't scale her for a third time so I walked the little hills around my home to work out the rest of it. It worked...for a few hours. When I felt that creeping feeling, her calling, I left the pack and climbed for a third time. This time in the dark and muggy evening air. She felt me, and I felt her. I needed her to take it. And she did. I was close to tears on the descent and decided that I couldn't give her anymore tonight and I couldn't receive anymore from her, so I walked away from her and walked the flat sidewalks at the bottom laying at her base. I still felt her but she knew I just had to be on flatter ground. What she was giving me was more than I could take.
When I got home, I was tired. Always a good thing. My energy is still raw and I may have to go climb my hill at first light, but for now, cooled from a cold shower and spent from climbing, I will rest in the late night hours. It's almost three o'clock here. I've been reading A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena De Blasi and I read her beautiful words about three o'clock in the morning. And they are true, especially now, after climbing my hill three times today. "...it's only at three o'clock in the morning when anyone can measure things...if you love yourself at three o'clock in the morning, if there's someone in your bed that you love at least as much as you love yourself at three o'clock in the morning, if your heart is quiet in your chest and neither muses nor shades crowd the room, it probably means things are well. It's the hardest moment to lie to yourself, three o'clock in the morning..." Here I sit at exactly three o'clock in the morning and it's true, it's the hardest moment to lie to yourself. Hell, I've always been a horrible liar. A trait I find as a valuable asset and not a fault. It's three o'clock and how am I? Well, I love myself, but the rest...things are not well. It's o.k. to be not well. To be broken and falling apart and doing your best to take your raw energy and give it to a hill. And it's also o.k. to cry and pick yourself back up and put yourself back together. I have a strong feeling my hill and I will be very close for the next few weeks, months, but, Dear God, don't let it be years.