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Mountain Peaks

February 20, 2012

Sitting on top of a mountain quenching my thirst

from the long hike behind us,

I look back down the slope that we climbed.

When you and I first reached the base of the incline,

gazing at the top as we filled our canteens from a spring,

we though the climb would be easy

and we charged it with adrenalin pumping in our veins.

But when we reached the top,

a whole other mountain towered above us.


We took the setback lightheartedly and set off again

with the top in sight, overcoming the awkward stones

that pummeled the bottoms of our feet

as we slipped on moss and loose topsoil.

We used the trees to help pull ourselves up the mountain

and the occasional whip of a branch across our cheeks

only made us strive harder to conquer the task.

And when we reached that peak sweaty and short of breath

only to find another ridge awaiting our assault,

we cried and then we laughed, drank from our canteens

and ate our lunch, and started all over again.


But now, after countless other peaks,

and having reached the last one,

I can only look back at where we have come from.

I still cannot turn and gaze at what rests

on the other side of the mountain

that you and I have worked so hard to climb.

I only drink from my almost empty canteen

as I sit on a boulder and wipe the sweat from my face

and talk with you about my fear of the long hike down.

Afterall, once you’ve reached the top,

down is the only way left to go.


I guess I’m really just afraid

of having to climb another mountain.


©1992, 21012 Gentry Avenue Productions. All Rights Reserved.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2012 5:30 pm

    You have described one of my hikes almost perfectly.
    Nicely done!

  2. February 22, 2012 6:05 pm

    Beautiful and so true as life take us toward new challenges until…….

    • February 22, 2012 8:43 pm

      While hiking up the flat irons in Boulder one year I spotted a few climbers in the distance who traversed the peak and rappelled down the other side. Nuts!

  3. February 26, 2012 10:34 pm

    exquisite, yes….takes us there…

  4. March 15, 2012 8:13 am

    The thought of going back is not as easy as one would think, especially with an empty canteen. It is good to know that in life there is always another mountain to climb, lest we decide to go back.
    I really have enjoyed reading this…got me thinking a some life situations as well…thank you, George!
    Hugs, xx

    • March 15, 2012 3:49 pm

      I agree completely. Some mountains are easier to climb than others but what fun would life be without a few good challenges now and then, right??

      Glad you enjoyed it, Deb!


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