What was it like to try to climb a mountain when I'm almost 60, about 30 years after my last trip to Mt. Sill? I had thought I might not be up to the task. I was worried that I lacked the mental toughness required to force myself upward. I wondered if I would be too afraid to make the crux moves of the climb to the summit, even though I was up to the task three decades and more ago.
In a way, mountain climbing is a metaphor for life. It can make us ask ourselves what it means to push beyond the barriers we think are holding us back, ask what happens when we enter new territory.
My worries were groundless. I loved making the effort required to reach the summit, and I felt little if any loss of my strength or coordination.
I may never visit the Palisades again. I'm glad, though, that I made a return trip. And I'm glad it took me a couple of tries to reach the top of the mountain this decade, to gain the summit of Mt. Sill, for if I could climb every mountain on every trip, there would be no challenge, no joy in the endeavor.