Recently my mind has been cluttered in thought. Between the most amazing summer in LA coming to an end and the beginning of my senior year at Elon, things seemed a bit out of place. I came out to LA this summer to get a taste of professional life after Elon. Ironically enough I’ve been so busy with work and class I haven’t had to time comprehend all that I was doing. I had a nagging sensation that I needed a period of time to reflect on all the complexities in my life over the past several months. I needed some good old fashion quality me time; Matt Smith needed to find Matt Smith again.
Usually my typical form of self-meditation is to run for miles blasting Red Hot Chili Peppers, however I’m in LA and I couldn’t overcome a mountain of thoughts with a run. I wanted something bigger and more challenging, so last Friday I climbed an actual mountain. There was one behind the apartments we were staying at anticipating my arrival. I had no idea how to get up the mountain but my mind was set on reaching the summit.
Friday morning I did what any normal person would do; woke up and updated my Facebook status letting the world know of the expedition I was about to embark on. I didn’t want a concept of time so I turned my cell phone off and put my watch in my drawer and started the day. The first half of the hike was anything but easy as I fought through tall grass and thorny brush. With no path I was forced to make my own decisions on which directions to go. Picking up cuts and scratches, I struggled for what seemed to be an eternity. Luckily after about halfway up I found a path, which lead to the top. After a fire had burned down most of foliage several years ago all that stood at the summit was a single pine tree and a beautiful 360-degree view of LA.
I stayed up there for several hours thinking and playing with just the tree and me. I felt like the boy from children’s book, “The Giving Tree” and at one point I even climbed the tree. In my current world of clutter I found simplicity again. Looking at a city so big and feeling so small, I felt at peace with myself. Some people believe in a bush that burned, that day I found myself again in a tree that survived the burn.
Photos taken by Joe Brown from my second time up the mountain 8/1/10.