The Top

The Top

Every year for the past six years, I have gone hiking with my life-long friend, Gloria. Before I moved back to Minnesota, she would travel to my home in Texas for a week of hiking in parks throughout the state. During my last year in Texas, we decided to venture further from home and hike the McKitrick Range in Guadalupe National Park. The weather was gorgeous, a mild 50-60 degrees. A footnote: neither one of us are what I would call ultra hikers in terms of physical fitness, but we enjoy the adventure of a good 3-4 mile hike. After hiking for a couple of hours, we came to a fork in the road. One way led downhill to the grotto; the other upward to the mountain ridge. We chose the ridge hoping for greater views and because I generally have this inner need for uphill battles. After climbing steeply for about a mile, we took a 10-minute break. I was sensing that Gloria was ready to turn around and hike back out; however, knowing me as well as she does, she let me make the decision.  I decided we should continue the upward climb in spite of our dwindling water supply, slightly sunburned arms, and overly-stimulated muscles. Ever since I can remember, I have always been driven to reach for the top. Most people would say  that’s a good goal to live by. And most of the time I would agree. But sometimes, we need to take a second look at the standards that we set for ourselves. They may be too low, and then again, they may be unrelenting. After hiking for 5 miles–mostly...
This Day

This Day

It isn’t that I don’t think of you Nearly every day, Or on all the other days Just as often. It’s only that on This Day, I am reminded of when Time Divided itself in two – The Before and The After. When the world sent its strongest reminder Of the one and only thing That matters in this Life.   Now, As I lay awake on This Day Many years past The After, My thoughts linger a moment longer On memories of Your voice, Your laugh, Your smile. And on This Day, I allow myself A momentary pause from what is real Wishing that This Day Could still be The Before.   Dedicated to Carl Lane Metzler (1981 to...
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