The Power Of Place
There are times in life when beauty is found in anguish
Peace cannot be kept by force: it can only be achieved by understanding
There's always a place where people go to seek refuge from their challenges. My haven is in the vast resplendent woods of the great Presidential Range. It’s been my experience that hurt feelings seem to wash away like a curtain opened up in the morning sunlight enveloping my entire body. In the vast mountains, you may feel alone, but eventually, you will feel a sense of one with nature. I felt this feeling the most on the Franconia Ridge trail, which in my opinion is the most exquisite of hikes on the range. I was both in awe of the range, and quite scared of the massive mountains towering over me.
My friends and I were ready for the challenge but we're not expecting the prodigious emotions that this trial had in store for us. Days prior, I was at camp walking through the enormous dining hall as my friend Hayze and I signed up for the 9-mile hike. While we were giddy with excitement, we were also so anxious about the challenge. I had spent years training on lesser trails for this one moment. Eventually, the day arrived. I woke up early, showered, brushed my teeth, and collected my muddy boots from under my bed. With a deep breath, I exited the bunk and walked up the front lawn to the van.
`On the ride, we stopped at Dunkin Donuts, which ordinarily puts me in a gleeful mood, however, while everyone was ordering, I vomited in the parking lot as a result of car sickness. To make matters worse, we weren’t even halfway there! Despite these unfortunate events, I was still ready to defeat the challenge of the Franconia Ridge trail.
When we arrived at the mountain, I simultaneously opened my mouth as my mouth spread wide open. This was personal. This hike will be the one thing in my way before MT. Washington. As I started the journey the activity of the trail left me exhausted but, I was also struck with the sheer beauty of green woods, clear glass rivers, and green leaves which left me in a reposed state. Hiking up Mt. Lafayette, I wasn’t thinking about how hard it was I dispelled those emotions away. I was too invested in the views of the mountain range and the oblique and salient rocks to think of the physical pain I was in. I felt a sense of tranquility wash over my tired body. When I trekked closer to the top there was a mash of boulders that I was about to climb up.
As I trudged up the boulders I was staring at MT. Washington to my left. When I finally made it to the summit, I felt a sense of accomplishment that I had never felt before, but the hike was not over yet. As I hiked over the mountain ridge, I saw a sea of green below me. I felt amazing. As I reflect on that day, that mountain and the experience continue to give me so much happiness. I believe that all people should strive to find the place that brings them peace because it makes you feel like you’ve never felt before. Mt. Lafayette and the journey up to the summit is my peaceful place. What’s yours?