Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
The surgeon strips my saphenous vein. Grafts the material into my heart, replacing three congested arteries. After weeks of cardiac rehab, I climb Mt Orroral (1450 m) in the local Namadgi national park.
in a moon-washed morning
pink clouds of dawn
We plod up the hill through bushfire ash. The country is clear and desolate after the 2003 fires. But the ecstatic joy of that summit yell. "Yeeeh!" Granted this gift of extra life, I vow to climb another 999 mountains. Perhaps one a week for the next twenty years?
this scarred heart
Ten years later. About 3,650 pink dawns later. I climb Mt Orroral once more with the Wednesday walkers. Today there's fallen timber, silver dead gum trees, black stumps. Granite tors and boulders. It's spring and golden wattle blooms in a dense regrowth of head-high saplings. It's slow going and we don't reach the summit. But I'm in the really wild. And keeping up on rough ground with my peer group, fit retirees.
sitting on a log—
me and magpies