I have been insane, probably still am in some respects. That is if I use Albert Einstein's definition; "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Complaining about the weather is a case in point. It is madness to grumble about too little rain, as we have here on Vancouver Island this spring. In my fifty years I have noticed that the weather has not changed to my liking based upon a voiced opinion or wish. Over and over again. . .craziness.
Dating myself further, I recall the summer of 1993 in the Rockies. I was living in a cabin at Lac Des Arcs, having taken the season off work to climb. Each morning the patter of precipitation on the roof ushered in the new day. Mushrooms grew on the carpet in the cabin the months I inhabited the space. There were many day trips to the weather office in Banff to speak to a meteorologist. In one conversation my climbing partner said, "It has to stop raining sometime" and the trained professional quipped, . . ."No it doesn't." A lesson in acceptance.
Traveling in the mountains is a powerful place to gain awareness around one's own lunacy. Being in the elements and working with mountain conditions is a constant reminder that, ultimately I am powerless to change some things. To whinge makes a thing worse. It brings focused attention on the difficulty, which in turn makes it distressing to endure. Sane individuals approach a challenge from a different angle if one tach does not work. The beauty of rain. Where there is beauty, there is opportunity, joy, and celebration.
I have grown deeply through my mountain practice. And yes it has been a spiritual practice for me, just like any of the so-called great ones. I get closer to spirit out there; not only by being on the peaks but primarily through nature. Over the years I have learned the value of acceptance; to be at peace with what is happening with the weather or conditions. It has been a long road to holster my emotions and dissatisfaction around the current reality. I have yet to integrate fully this wisdom in my relationships with people. They are like the weather. Some are warm and sunny, others unpredictable, or stormy. Complaining makes a relationship worse. Telling someone that they are not enough has never brought me happiness. Only pain serviced by the mania of "you are not enough."
The summer of 93 brought unexpected gifts. I read more that summer, learned about the plants and animals of the Canadian Rockies, and my climbing improved even though I was climbing little. It was a time where I learned that it is easy to over climb my ability to recover physically. I climbed strong that year, by climbing to my maximum only once a week.
I wonder what gifts will I notice, what beauty I will see, by letting people be who they are? To expect nothing from them, yet witness the unexpected gifts they have to give. Acceptance; perhaps the greatest gift we have to give another human being. . .to let them be as they are.