That Tao of brief interaction

Back from a retreat. I love the mountains of Kentucky. It’s breathtaking views and lots of different creatures I don’t usually get to see or interact with in Detroit.

Yet I was reminded of something the third night after hiking up Grandfather Mt and contemplating that day during the evening. This is what came up.

The woman who stopped to talk for a few minutes which led to a brief and happy discussion over a book called “The Blue Zone” which apparently is about having purpose and direction. It was her first time up the mountain and it was a pleasure to talk with her.

A 24 year veteran of a fire department who was bound and determined to make it to the top after five back surgeries. His determination and commitment really impressed me. He told me he was 57 years old but wasn’t going to let that or his back get in the way.

Lydia, a young woman visiting the area where her parents had purchased a place for vacations. She had just finished four years towards a medical degree and wants to practice in orthopedics. Her first time up the mountain but not the last.

My point is not that the scenery and animals on the mountain weren’t spectacular, but the fact that what I took away was the memories of the awesome humans whom I had the opportunity to meet and have momentary interaction with during the climb.

It came to my attention that although these interaction were brief, they also immersed in attention, caring, and feelings of intimacy that abound when climbing in the mountains. The environment and situation magnifies the contact and cements it in memory.

Everyone is amazing in a very special and unique way. Each individual adds what they can, when they can, and how they can. The only real question is am I paying attention? The climb certainly focuses the attention but I suspect that every person I meet has a very specific, passionate, and meaningful tale to tell.

We are so much more than we allow ourselves to believe.

Be well,


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