We have been in St Lucia for all of two days. The views from our deck and likewise those from the beach are both spectacular and relaxing. We are on Island Time as they say here. Everything slows down and your perspective changes. Things that others said mattered were suddenly less important and the things that were truly important became clearer. We sometimes get the two mixed up. I have decided to let a week of Island Life help with my perspectives.
There is a peak across the bay with a fort high atop its summit. It beckons to be seen. Not from afar, but from up close. On top of it to be precise. Upon some investigation, I was told that the fort is really not that tough to reach. Seems a trail leads almost all the way and that the short climb at the end is really doable. it’s the second, much higher peak that draws your attention. A good 600 feet higher and much more exposed, it too asks you if you are up for the climb.
I have done my homework. Mapped out the trail. I have even quizzed several other guests, eventually finding someone who has made the climb. To quote him,”the first climb to the fort is easy. It’s the climb from there to the higher peak, Signal Peak, that requires some effort.” So what is some effort? A longer walk? A steeper trail? The answer was both but the encouragement was other than climbing over some rocks on the way up a “sorta” trail, it was a walk in the park. I was sold. I would take the hike with Deb in the early morning and beat the heat.
So let’s talk for a second about perspective. Should I have asked my source’s age? Definitely, as he was much younger than yours truly. Next time, I will try to consider that.
We left for the fort around 8:30 and reached the base about 30 minutes later. We huffed and puffed a little on the last 100 feet, but a short climb up a set of steps that we would classify as a ladder and we were at the summit of the fort. I must admit the view was incredible as the Atlantic stretched out in one direction and the Caribbean in the other. But there, right in front of me rose Signal Peak. It was no longer a question of can I do this, let alone should I do this, but how fast could I convince Deb that I needed to do this. The answer, five minutes with an agreement that she would quietly stay behind and read her book while I was off in search of my fleeting youth and perceived manhood.
The climb was, to say the least, strenuous, but a half hour later I was at the summit, makes it sound so much higher when you call it a summit. Was it worth it? I still had the walk down, and they weren’t kidding when they said it was a “sorta” trail. They also weren’t kidding about the rocks, let’s be honest, near boulders that had to be negotiated on the way up. They were all going to be there on the way back down. But, they were right, the view was worth the climb. I could see everything including the views you couldn’t see from ocean level, and you could see them from an entirely different perspective, one of height.
And with that, I have to tell you that the climb is really a metaphor for life. Sometimes, to get the better perspective, we need to climb. We need to climb above the noise and clutter at ground level and find a point above it all. A point where we can take in the entire view. Only there can we gain the true perspective. Only there can we get the full picture.
My view was worth the climb. Next time you feel you just can’t get the full picture, find your peak to climb and then enjoy the view.
Keep sharing. I thoroughly enjoyed your experience through your words. Are you aware that Art and I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back out at an earlier age? Change in elevation was the big problem. We were about 7,000 feet above sea level. Going down was much worse than up. We had to keep putting the brakes on. It took us 12 hours to hike the 10+ miles. It was 116 degrees in the shade. Remember, the blood flowing through my veins is Norske, much cooler than 116 degrees plus less oxygen in the air. But, we persevered. We were down in the Canyon for two nights and hiked out in 7 hours on the third day. I’m glad for the experience, but I don’t think I could do it again today. It doesn’t get any easier as the years go by. Art hiked to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, too. I declined. His knees couldn’t do it now, either. So, keep on hiking, walking, traveling, dreaming, etc. Time goes faster the closer we get to the top of our life.
P.S. Sometime I’ll tell you about the turkey I came into contact with at the bottom of the Canyon. 🦃🦃🦃🦃
I think I definitely want to hear the rest of the story. Thank you for your encouragement. I write for entertainment but deep down, I always look for confirmation.