Today, two of my sons and I made what is, for us, a sacred journey up to Jaffrey, New Hampshire, where we climbed the revered Mt. Monadnock. We’ve done this climb as a family on many occasions, and it was wonderful today to renew the honored tradition. It was, as always, a strenuous trek to the summit. Some of the trails are precipitous and unforgiving, and there times, I think, when all of us wondered if the top of the mountain would ever appear. It was a perfect day for climbing, though, and we thoroughly loved ascending up through the cool and shadowy forests and across the bare-boned edges of the higher trails. We laughed and talked the entire way, sharing a father-son-brother comradeship that we’re all grateful for. At the summit, after a more than two hour climb, we enjoyed filling lunches and great amounts of water and some old stories about past climbs and the nature of the great stones of the earth. We hiked back down, over giant boulders and down almost unmanageable trails, and finally we reached the spring, near the trailhead, where we filled our bottles with the fresh and frosty water and sat on a log in the restorative shade of hundreds of firs and pines.
(Below is a picture of Matt and Jaimie near the summit, along with an audio version of this post. Feel free to make an audio comment, if you wish.)