In the Shadows of Self

Time for a pre-conclusion wrap-up—I’ll owe the blogosphere one more post by Friday.

Whether an intended consequence or inadvertent result of The Columbus Foundation’s Fellowship, I’ve discovered Columbus in a fresh way this summer. I’m not going to defend the city; it stands strong enough alone to combat the supercilious slurs and uninformed judgments routinely heaved upon its yoke. Last week’s Cocktails at the Conservatory with Foundations folks was enchanting. The weather was more than ideal and the company was engaging, not to mention the SoCal inspired ska-punk cover band for entertainment. On Friday I was able to see my second-favorite band, Cake, perform at The LC (for those of you dying to know, Wilco is my favorite band). Saturday proved busy as well, a tour of the city offered by the Columbus Historical Society taught me a few things—OK, many things—about the city’s settlement and growth through the 20th century. Yesterday I re-discovered the Whittier Peninsula, peeked through the windows at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center, and admired the skyline from the top balcony of the park’s water tower, awash in the late afternoon sun.

A man’s gotta keep busy, right? Last summer at this time (8/14/10), I summited Mount Whitney (14,505′) after about four hours of absurdly strenuous ascent. Playing in the shadows of downtown has been drastically different than hiking in the shadows of towering granite peaks. I remember people asking me if I could stay in Mammoth Lakes longer than my prescribed 12-week stint. I always answered the same: I enjoy the opportunities of urban life too much. Perhaps my answer came off as snobbery, but where in the eastern Sierra Nevada can I go to an art museum? Anything akin to the topiary garden, COSI, German Village, the Wex (to quickly name a few attractions)? Oh, I miss living at 8,000′ and going on ridiculous day hikes to place names such as: Bloody Canyon, the Glass Mountains, Mono Pass (north), Dorothy Lake, etc. I miss swimming in crystalline lakes fed by pure snowmelt, I miss sweating profusely while catching my breath on a blindingly white snowfield in late July.

I’m as busy this summer as I was last. I’m learning just as much about my surroundings and myself (the latter of which carries more importance in the scheme of things). To all of those who I’ve met and grown with this summer, thank you.

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