I Live

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I Live. I live for waking with the sun every day of my life. I live for rosy fingered dawns and fumbling to pull my pack together in near darkness. I live for the cool water rolling over my hands as I miss my water bottle. I live for laughing about it.

I live for the moment when the summit rolls into view, a mere four thousand plus vertical feet away. I live for the pursuit of that summit. I live for craning my neck to see through the clouds. I live for the softness of chilled air, and the frosty breath that swirls through it. I live for the pat of feet against earth. I live for the sweat that rolls down my face into my eyes. I live for stopping to adjust the straps on my pack, then hurrying to the front. I live for the branch that swats back into my face. I live for laughing about that too.

I live for the moment when the trees give way to barren rocks, when all traces of a trail disappear and there's just a mile of scattered stone between me and my summit. My summit. I live for sprinting across the knife blade ridge, the earth yielding to the precipices on either side of me. I live for never, ever looking down.
I live for the final stride before my summit, and leaving everything I have on the rocks behind me. I live for smacking the summit marker.

I live for spreading my arms wide as the world opens up before me, unfurling like a sail to reveal her secrets. I live for the cloud shadows dancing on mountaintops, for the colored plumage of trees and the sky. I live for the sky that goes on forever, only meeting Earth at a distant horizon. I live for the solitude, and the knowledge that although thousands know of this place, few know it. I live for the peace. I live for the wind picking the hair from my ponytail and blowing it away from me with every worry I ever had. I live for the helplessness. I live for the feeling that after all, I really am just a small piece in a larger puzzle. I live for smiles, for pride, for freedom. I live for life.





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