Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Kol Atzmotai Tomarna, Hashem, Mi Chamocha!

There are three kinds of fun, Morgan shouts back at me, smiling big.
About thirty feet up the mountain from her, I lift my left boot , foot, leg, out of the snow and place them another step in front of me. I am now wearing only my right snowshoe. My left I grip in hand—it detached my foot for the last time when I stepped into a meter or so of virgin snow that had collected invisibly on our trail. With only a couple of miles down Burnt Rock to the parking lot, I could not muster the energy or will to bend over with my backpack and replace it to my foot. So my left snowshoe sat in the grip of left fingers, which were ungloved and wrapped in shredded, blood-caked toilet paper. The ache that my shoulders had been screaming for hours unanswered had long since gone hoarse. I lifted my right foot in right snowshoe and placed it another step down the mountain. Seven hours of nearly unbroken climb and hike were coming to a close, but I knew we were hours late, that I would be leaving my parents waiting at a gas station in South Lake George for several hours for me, that we had underestimated the extent of our journey, that despite the fact that we had not taken 10 minutes of break in the past seven hours we would not make it in time. Knowing this, the determination and joy of the adventure began to drain from my eyes, leaving a dazed and empty look. Morgan sees this, and I know she is worried about me.
There are three kinds of fun. The first is fun while you are doing it. The second, is NOT fun while you’re doing it, but fun after you are finished. The third kind of fun is not fun while you are doing it or after you have finished. Oh, and the fourth kind is fun while you are doing it, but not fun after you have finished. The second kind of fun is the by far the best kind of fun. The second kind of fun is unmatched.
Morgan coaxes my smile back, and I lift my left foot.

A few hours later, a mile and a car ride and two liters of Powerade and several frantic and relieving gas station phone calls and a shower and a hot wood stove and a bowl of tomato and chickpea soup later, the shared conquering of ElizabethMorganAri revels in my limbs. Every movement of calve and shoulder and back and forearm sings aching praise. Muscles that had hidden in hibernation from my awareness wake up, twitch and hurt and move and sing hashem, who is like you.


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