As my good friends know, I spend many weekends a year in the Adirondack mountains. It is a magnificent range that runs from Canada down into the "north way" country of New York State. Forty six peaks in all, and each of them is worth the climb.
People pride themselves on being "46'rs," which means they've hiked all of them. They get their names on a special plaque on a wall at the Ausable Club but probably more important to each of them are the 46 notches they have placed on their walking stick. It's quite a ritual and I listened to a father tell with pride last weekend about accompanying his 14 year old daughter on her hike of the last of the 46'rs. He had done it years ago and now she is carrying on the tradition.
People don't talk a whole lot on the mountain trails, yet I note that it's as if we were talking. When you are tramping up the hillside with a friend or family member, you are strengthening the bond between you that somehow supersedes talk.
The woods themselves make wonderful noises. So do the numerous birds. and the small animals that rustle in the leaves as you hike past them. When we listen, we hear all kinds of marvelous sounds that otherwise escape us.
My favorite, though, is the sound of the lake water lapping at the shoreline when I finally reach the lake after jogging in for a little more than three miles in the early morning. The sound of that water makes me feel I've come home. It's not really home; it's a place where I feel at peace. Quiet.
And I never cease to marvel at the fact that after I've left the lake, often gone for weeks, even months at a time before my next visit, that lake just keeps lapping at the edges whether I'm there or not.
That lakes just keeps on talking.