I would stand beneath the tree, looking up at the maze of branches and leaves, visualizing my path to the greatest heights I dared to climb along the limbs of the tree that were the ramps propelling me to higher ground. The exhilaration was in reaching the top and seeing the breath-taking giddy space between the earth and me. There is nothing quite like sitting on a branch enjoying the perspective of the world through a maze of green leaves and brown branches.
I knew that a single slip would plummet me to the ground, banging my head on a thousand branches along the way. My mind could not afford to blink for even a second, because that is all the time it takes for the body to lose the tension that keeps it alive. There was a sense of harmony, of balance and peace in the tension. You focus through a haze with all your senses, thoughts, your very being one-pointed in it's attention span to stay alive. That surely is what creates the BUZZ.....
Somewhere along the way, I discovered rock. Or rather, I discovered that rock could be climbed. I had always seen rocks and huge boulders but I had never really seen into them. I had not yet DISCOVERED rock as a climbable entity that provides release for "the urge to climb".
So started my continuing love affair with rock. It probably sounds very weird, but yes, I discovered the life of the rock. Each feature told a tale; each crack, each splinter had a character; the surface of each rock with its varied texture and different hues had it's own personality. Each piece of rock is so different that every time I see a rock while walking., I am compelled to examine it and try to understand what it is trying to say to me. Some rocks scream, "You can't get up me, you slob...I'm too high and mighty". Some merely whisper, "Come and try me...you might enjoy it". Yet others entice you with, "I'm fun, but I could kill you". Well actually, all of them say "I could kill you", some just say it louder than others.
The satisfaction of a perfectly executed set of moves on vertical ground with my feet kicking out in space makes me feel like an eagle nesting up high on an unapproachable cliff. It seems to me there is only the universe and I, and I am overwhelmed by a tremendous love and respect for the rock that symbolises the very universe that lets me enjoy that rare poetic moment. That's what makes it all worthwhile. After a perfect climb, you no longer care that there is no skin on your fingertips, you do not notice the bloody scratches on your arms and legs, or bother about the screaming exhaustion of your arms. You just have a deep wide grin on your mug and a satisfaction deep, deep within your soul that nothing can touch.
That's why I climb rocks.