Mount Mitchell

The sun is peeking through the trees,
In Black Mountain campground,
It’s early morning and apart from the birds,
I don’t hear a sound.

I feel my body trembling,
I’m scared to get out of the car,
But I drove four hours to get here,
I have to continue onward after coming this far.

My daypack is extra heavy,
A GPS, compass and map,
I don’t know how well the trail is blazed,
And I can’t afford a mishap.

See, I’m hiking Mt. Mitchell,
The highest point east of the Mississippi,
But this is my first solo hike,
So it is going to be a little tricky.

And by tricky, I mean frightening,
Cause I am terrified of bears.
With snakes and unidentifiable noises,
The wilderness is full of scares.

One foot in front of the other,
Step after step,
Ascending nearly the entire six miles to the peak,
Without stopping to rest.

I took a few sips of water,
But didn’t have a snack,
I was racing the stormy forecast,
Knowing there was limited time to get back.

When I reach the summit,
I’m flying high,
“I made it! I’m here!
And I’m still alive!”

That’s when I look up,
And see one other guy,
On this great big mountain.
I hope this isn’t where I die.

I nervously approach the peak,
Bear mace within reach,
Thinking “If you mess with me,
You won’t leave in one piece”

I can tell he is kind,
When our eyes meet.
And I hear a strange accent,
When he speaks.

He’s from the City of Love,
Staying in the City of Oaks for work,
He tells me I shouldn’t hike alone,
But I can’t tell if he has a smirk.

He asks to walk down together,
And I reluctantly say yes,
While I’m excited to meet someone new,
I actually came here to be by myself.

I was seeking God on a matter,
Because I was struggling with confusion,
I somehow thought He’d meet me here,
To sort out truth from illusion.

But maybe I’ll learn something from this guy?
Maybe he’ll broaden my perspective?
So I ask him lots of questions,
And the language barrier makes it slightly hectic.

We exchange contact info,
And head our separate ways,
Planning to reconnect,
Again in a few days.

A kindred spirit,
Nothing more, nothing less,
But to tell that story now,
Would mean to digress.

This story is about fear,
And seeking to overcome it,
That’s precisely what happened,
On my solo trek up to the summit.

I felt capable and strong,
The world felt bigger,
I had grown so much,
Though my shadow cast the same figure.

Fear puts you into cages,
It tells you what you can and cannot do,
But fear is a liar,
Simply trying to control you.

It’s okay to feel fear,
And to let it speak,
But dig down for your courage,
And always let it take the lead.

Fear will roar loudly,
But it’s only a wall,
When you push through it,
It won’t continue to make you stall.

So when you feel fear,
Don’t put up a fight,
Instead, summon your courage,
And you’ll emerge on the other side.

Then this world will be your playground,
And everything will be an adventure,
Living life boldly with courage,
Fills ordinary experiences with splendor.

© Regina Mast 2016

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