There's a strange thing that happens as we get older... Time distorts as we move along on the axis of our lifeline. It reveals itself in unpredictable and inconsistent ways. Some things speed up, some things slow down. The fleeting phases of our children growing up vanish nearly before we can register them. While the stresses of our modern days slowly persist. The clockworks of time are neither simple nor silent. The din of clicking gears is like the midnight street noise of New York City, creating a muffled, orchestral backdrop to the racing chapters of our families; our careers; our pursuits. I haven't been to the mountains in three years, a period of time that passed by like a blink. Regardless, my principles haven't changed. That's why when the mountains call, the only thing to do is answer.
I used to consider the Adirondack North Country a second home; a destination as familiar as my origin. To me, there's a cleansing that comes from these mountains. I've climbed peaks, hiked the valleys, slept in the snow and ice, raced bicycles, and run marathons, all from the epicenter of the high peaks region. Through it all, I never left the mountains feeling anything less than a hundred percent rejuvenated and centered. How it could've ended up to be more than a thousand days since my last visit is beyond me. I can only attribute it to that paradoxical behavior of time. As I was thinking about this while strolling along the shore of Mirror Lake, I was reminded of a quote by Marcus Aurelius:
For every adventure I've had in the Adirondacks; with every call from the mountains I've answered, I've always tried to discover and take with me one key finding from each trip. In this most recent instance, I gained a new appreciation for the present. A new objective for focusing on the now; for staying centered between the past and the future. Time may bend and warp like a pliable sheet, but the present is but a point in the middle. For as long as we stay focused on it, we can control the ticking of the clocks.