I've spent a good portion of the last few days shooting video for my place of work, Backcountry Edge. These clips are basically short duration demonstrations of various tents, backpacks, sleeping bags and other outdoor gear or, as I prefer to think of it, filming these bits is a cross between playtime and learning, for me, and, eventually, for someone trying to get a more multi-dimensional view of a given item than a flat, lifeless product page on a retail website can provide.
It's fun, really, and serves as a nice physical escape from the office which is especially convenient when the weather decides to take a significant turn for the better, as it has this week.
But, this go round, the entire process has made me oddly restless. Putting up a tent and expounding on its finer points has me wanting to be in that very tent somewhere a bit more exotic than a mile away from my desk. Blowing up a sleeping pad, I find that I want to spend the entire night on the pad, preferably under a Western sky full of stars, stars, endless stars. And the sleeping bags, the backpacks, the trekking poles, the you-go-ahead-and-name-its, they've all got me wanting to not just talk about their functional aspects but to put them to good and practical use somewhere far away from an all-too-handy and invasive cell signal.
All of which adds to my current longing for mountains and reminds me of a paragraph from Gretel Ehrlich's Questions of Heaven:
"Are mountains really mountains? Are mountains a form of enlightenment? Are rivers a mountain running? Can we walk through them? Why do mountains walk through us?"
I don't know the answers and, like all my favorite questions, they may not even have one or, at least, JUST one. What fun is a question, anyway, if it's too easily answered? Not as fun as one that isn't, this I know.
Today the mountains are walking through me and yet remain all too distant. I miss them immensely. I want to go to them. To BE with them. Not to race through them and head home, but to race to them and make them home.
I don't even need the gear. Gear without the mountains is just trappings. Mountains without the gear are still the connection points between earth and sky that pull me like so many magnets.
I'll get there...and when I do, I won't be back.