Sunday, November 25, 2012


I write this at the end of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Ordinarily, November in Vermont is cold, grey, raw and sometimes snowy.  This past week was anything but - the fair and unseasonably warm days have been to savor.  Brilliant, deep blue skies, bright sunshine, cold crisp nights.  By 11am with plenty of sun, the rock within ray's reach is warmed nicely - yup, climbing in November!

I was fortunate to get out twice on our local cliffs and soak it in. What a treat.  Truly something to be thankful for. But there is so much more to be thankful for. Family, friends, good food, good health to name only a small few.  While this blog started as a canvas for painting climbing stories and journeys, I have also always thought of it becoming a creative conduit for the bigger things in life.  Without my health, wealth and good fortune, I wouldn't be a climber - I wouldn't be climbing- I wouldn't be writing about climbing. I wouldn't be much of anything or anyone really if I wasn't so incredibly lucky to be born in this country, free and showered with the gifts of good parenting, education, family support, friends, health and enough financial wealth to live as I do. And as so many around the globe are born to far less, let me be mindful every day of my good fortunes - and to be grateful for every single detail, even those that seem to throw me off course.  There is a lesson in it all.

I want to stop my whining and complaining about trivial matters and practice gratitude regularly.  This article in the LA Times (printed in part in our more local Valley News recently) is what brought this back into my focus.  If you are reading this I hope you will take an extra few minutes to read this - and find a way to express your gratitude.

Climb on. Journey on. Give thanks.

A rare November view from atop our local cliff ridge. I am grateful.