on saturday, jack and i climbed a mountain.
we were in atlanta on a sunny saturday. Stone Mountain beckoned, it's one mile(ish) "hike" to the top of the monadnock was brimming with families and scouts and "breast friends for life" teams. i love october.
the morning was cool enough for sweatshirts and we were full of enthusiasm. we could see our destination. folks young and old were already making their way across the pocked granite surface. we climbed and talked. and visited with a friend i hadn't seen in 26 years. we ate cereal bars and looked at trees covered with gum (yuck!) we sat in a shaded pavilion and watched a man stroll by, strumming his guitar.
and then, a mere 50 yards from the summit, we broke through the tree line. we turned around and took in the sites of Atlanta. we caught our breath. i pointed to the places where i had lived. and then i noticed: jack was done.
we were no longer on our destination UP. he was ready to go DOWN, and not even sure he could make it. something about the unfettered 360 views of Atlanta, the 1,600+ feet between us and sea level, the feeling of smallness. it proved to much for my little mountain climber.
we took one last look toward the summit. i summoned a few pep talks. but it was clear we were meant to go back down. step by "treacherous" step. incantations of "you can do it, jack" (all uttered by jack.) hand over hand, inch by inch. down we went.
and then, once more to the perceived safety below the treeline. surer footsteps and boundless enthusiasm. hand holding and laughing and patience. our feet never reached the top, but our hearts were in the clouds.