Internal Perfection

Internal Perfection

A Story by bailish

When I consider my perfect day, it has more to do with overcoming personal challenges than anything in the external world.


Our day starts an hour before the crack of dawn in Denver.  My lover and I get up, load up enough food and water for the two of us for the day in our backpacks, and head off to the mountains.  It's a cool day, and we encounter no traffic problems as we cruise along with the windows down.  We keep the radio off because any human noises are a distraction from the experience we are pursuing.

Finally, we have arrived at the 14,000 foot mark, so we park our car and get out to hike.  The air is thin here, so we have to go slowly and give our bodies time to acclimate.  It takes only about 10 minutes until we are exhausted and ready to take a break.  No one else is around;  it is only the two of us in nature.  We hug each other, taking comfort in our shared warmth, as we look around.  The landscape is rather barren due to the lack of trees.

But we haven't reached our destination yet, for the perfect day is not given to us;  we must show that we deserve it through our commitment to ourselves, to each other, and to the world around us, for we are all intertwined.  Our day is not yet half over, and so we get up and push on.  We climb higher, and higher, and higher.  We feel dizzy, and so we take a break for lunch.  Our exertion sharpens our senses.  The food tastes sharper as our tongue distinguishes each seasoning.  We know the prize is near, and yet we know that the biggest challenge is yet to come.

We're on the final leg of our climb.  We pull ourselves over the last summit, and there it is.  The lake, which collects water from the overhanging glacier.  The water is icy cold, but the natural salinity of the area prevents it from freezing at these temperatures.  We remove all our clothes and dive in for a quick swim, enjoying the fruits of our efforts for the day.

After our intimate swim, it's time to return.  We're not carrying camping gear, so the biggest challenge now is getting back before dark.  As any hiker knows, the most dangerous part of a climb is the descent.  That's when a person uses more of their energy to prevent their body from going too fast.  And so our final challenge is to descend as quickly as possible without endangering our safety.  We resist the temptation to speed, for if any injury happens, we could become stranded in the dark, and yet going too slowly leaves us with the same fate.  Our packs are much lighter now that we've eaten all the food and drank almost all the water, and our bodies are used to the altitude by now, so we don't need any more breaks.  We continue on down, returning to our car.  We give each other a kiss, sharing in the exhilaration of our success against the elements.

The perfect day has become an extension of ourselves, not limited to a 24-hour period, but incorporated into our essence, becoming a part of us for eternity, coloring the rest of our lives and the lives we touch.

© 2008 bailish

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Added on July 30, 2008



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