A couple of days ago I went wall-climbing . It was the first time I had gone in about 6 years. Actually, there have been many “first…since” moments in the last few months…first time to read a book cover to cover that was not 20 size font…first time to spend more than five minutes drawing, and yes – first time wall-climbing since before giving birth.

Oh to sing the praises of wall-climbing. Well first there are the people. I have NEVER met an unattractive person who climbs walls. EVERYONE who climbs walls is just lovely.

Case in point...


I can only generalize so brashly because this has been my experience, and I have climbed walls in three different states, and on two different continents. People who climb are friendly, cheerful, silly, strong, relaxed, and chill. There is no awkwardness, no pretension…and everyone seems already an old friend. You start a conversation as if you’re just picking it up…as if you’ve been carrying it on for years.

Another case in point.

Then there is the motion. You glide along the wall, breathing deep, moving as if in a lyrical dance where every motion has to be graceful, planned, powerful. You should not stop, dangle, lug, or hurl yourself. Rather, you yearn, stretch, pull, push. It’s as if a primordial happiness wakes up inside when you climb. Feeling the whole of your weight, your complete body in control, being held up by your hands and feet, you are liberated. And engrossed into the complex puzzles of handholds and foot holds that you must navigate and solve.

There is also the secret society to which you now belong. Suddenly you find yourself gleefully eyeing your car door handle, the door knobs, counter tops, nooks and crannies of old trees and cathedral gutters. You cradle a peach in your blistered hands and wonder if the fuzz would provide sufficient friction. You pull onto keyboard keys, trying to hold onto your grip. And through it all the sweet pain pulsates through your arms, and later, your legs as well.

Another beautiful climber


Well I have healed and am going back tomorrow for more. Care to join me? Such bliss is all the more joyful when shared.

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