Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Head In the Clouds
There is something cleansing about a long like. Just putting one foot in front of the other and breathing are the only concerns. With my head spinning from the demands of school and lack of free time I felt the pull towards solitude. The 7.5 mile hike up seamed desolate at first glance but subtly revealed its beauty. Slowly moving up the rocky trail was a real practice in staying present. Trepidations were nothing but loose threads dangling in the wind ready to be snipped, leaving me to think about nothing except what is and what will be. Just walking the labyrinth of thought, leading to the center of foolishness. My destination was red hill cabin, up 10,000 ft on the slopes of Mauna Loa. My aim was to run rocky trails in the thin air, search for fallen stars, dance under the moon, drink yerba mate all day long and into the night, read, laugh, sing, walk the tightrope between clarity and insanity. I followed the patches of fog as they floated on their pilgrimage towards the summit to gather and dance in swirls before journeying out to sea or evaporating into the shimmering divide.
The cabin was engulfed in a pocket of clouds and mist, to my dismay there were no views. I sat on the porch of the cabin bundled in my sleeping bag well into the night. It felt rejuvenating to feel the cold outside air from within the warmth of my cocoon.
(Sweet stove my dad made from a can)
(Spirits stir within the cabin)
I sat on the ledge saturated and damp from the silence that filled the air. A silence that could be felt and seen like a burning flame. That is the kind of silence that allows you to hear your heart and see your soul, to see in total darkness and breathe in a thousand lifetimes. A small break in the clouds around 2am offered a fleeting glimpse of the starry sky before being engulfed again by the bleak clouds. With a smile I went into the cabin and tried to fall asleep.
I was up early and out the door into the clear and chilly air. A momentary parting of clouds offered a glimpse of the snow kissed summit of Mauna Kea. The clearing did not last long, fog and mist ascended down upon the trail.
I started running with no plans of how far or how long I would go before turning around. Running through the mist and hearing the swoosh of lava rock under my feet was like an active meditation. Before I knew it I was at 12,000ft. I figured this was a good place to turn around since I had no water or food and had already been running a few hours. I love running at elevation, there is definitely something magical and inspiring floating around with the thin air. I often become manic and borderline lose control of myself and so was the case on this day. Hooting and hollering like a banshee I became a little lightheaded and had to sit and “sober up” before making the run back down to the cabin. Being able to access that kind of elevation and live by the ocean is a dream for me. Running trails and riding waves, always searching.
Hawaii snow falls
Like rain in the desert
Or joy that fills the heart of the earth