"A true mentor is like the reflection of the moon on water. When you see the beauty of it, and are awe-stricken, you're actually seeing your truest nature." ~Kundun
This week there has been a lot of snow in Bend. Rain, then sun, then grey skies, then snow...the weather seems to be changing by the minute. The Celts referred to spring as "the season between all seasons." Change is in the air. Mother Nature seems to be trying to make up her mind, with one foot still in winter, and one already in summer. I'm doing my best to be grateful for the beautiful snow, but I must admit, I'm ready for outdoor climbing season to arrive. I'm itching to improve my climbing skills this year, and am looking forward to many wonderful climbing adventures with Stan and my friends. I feel lucky to live in Bend. There is an abundance of beautiful rock here to climb: sport, trad., face, cracks...its all here, within 1/2 hr. of my doorstep. I'm grateful for the spiritual lessons climbing brings into my life: facing my fears, trust, the art of letting go, learning to quiet my mind during a climb, the beauty of friendship, the exquisite experience of the vertical world...the list goes on...I'm grateful for all the wonderful, empowered women, in particular, who have influenced my life as a climber.
I want to honor my dear friend and climbing mentor, Janet Linebarger. Janet is the epitome of strength and power, in my mind. She is an example of a woman, in her 60's, who has the strength of a 20 yr. old, and the grace of a seasoned dancer. To watch her effortlessly move on a rock face, silent...focused...skilled... is a wonder to behold. Janet is moving from Portland, OR. to Bellevue, WA. While I'm excited for Janet, and the new opportunities that are being presented to her, I'm selfishly very sad. I will always consider Janet my first climbing teacher. Its not that I won't ever see Janet, but our visits will be farther and fewer between.
Almine & Janet, "Club Sport," '09
Each month, when I've gone up to Portland to treat patients at my Portland office, I've gotten a lesson from Janet. If the weather is nice we climb outside. If its rainy we've climbed at "Club Sport." Each time I've walked away with more of a deep appreciation for what climbing has become to me: a metaphor for the inner world. It is because of Janet that I've faced some of my darkest fears with climbing. She's influenced me enough to want to do that for myself. Janet seems to have the wisdom to know when to push me when I need to be pushed, and to allow me to figure things out for myself when appropriate. The power of a mentor in our life is a blessing. One whose lessons seem to soak in a little more each day. I'm honored to call Janet my mentor & friend. I hope to be just like her when I grow up someday... ;-} I'll miss you, Janet...
Almine Climbing At "Smith Rock," '09
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