Monday, January 9, 2017

Fear and Attraction

When we look at beginning a journey ~ classes, a new season, travel ~ it's always an adventure. There's an edge to it because its outcome is unknown. Sometimes even its direction doesn't turn out as our original plan described it.

If you consider your life, even the recent past, you'll find a beginning that is, or quickly becomes, uncertain. Maybe a visit to meet a friend where one of your arrivals is delayed. Perhaps a class you planned to take from one instructor, but another shows up instead. Beginning an exciting new job in a new town or part of the state where other team members are unknown. Or going on an outdoor adventure with an unknown guide.

No matter how prepared we believe we are for each of these new journeys, these beginnings, these adventures, there is always the possibility of change and challenge. This is the numinous place. The point where we are fearful, apprehensive, perhaps even terrified. The point where we are also intrigued, attracted, perhaps even exhilarated. Things aren't going precisely as planned, or maybe they are, but not as we thought they would. Yet we are caught up in the beauty and wonder of how it all continues to work together.

If we're truly lucky in our lives, these moments will happen repeatedly ~ at irregular intervals so we don't, or can't, get complacent. They are often the moments that define who we are, the moments that change us.

One of those moments happened for me when my brother drove us up Mt. Evans in Colorado this summer. I had suggested the trip ~ instead of the more traveled Pike's Peak. Although both are part of Colorado's Fourteens (mountains over 14,000 feet), Mt. Evans is a bit higher. The drive was a paved switchback that began its ascent through beautiful forests. By 12,000 feet, we were above the timberline. With no railings or guards, it looked as though we could fly off the road at every turn. Terrifying, yet exhilarating. Then, after walking around on the top, we had to reverse the course downhill.

Was this physically challenging for me? No. Was it part of our plan? Yes. However, if we had thought about and discussed the fearful parts prior to our ascent, we may have decided not to make the trip. We would have missed that remarkable numinous moment of being both afraid and attracted. Personally, I would not trade that moment for the world.

When did you experience a numinous moment? Did it fall into your plans? or was it outside of them? Who were you with? Did you share the fear and attraction? or did one of you feel it and the other/s not? Did you talk about it? Would you repeat that kind of moment again?

No comments:

Post a Comment