There are city problems and there are all other problems. Being on an adventure – especially outdoors, I find – reminds you that the city problems are smaller. They are, historically and psychologically, byproducts of our solutions to larger challenges, such as health, safety, warmth and navigation.
The city saves us from most of that, but it also brings us closer together – sometimes in problematic ways. We start hunting for a fix.
Work is just that. It’s a hunt. The first city job I loved was being a library assistant at the American Alpine Club, where I got to read books about the roots of mountaineering. Originally, it was people needing to climb higher for their animal quarry. For their food.
Last weekend I was on my annual trip to the summit of Mt. Katahdin, Maine’s highest peak (picture above). I didn’t find any food up there, other than what I brought along. But it did clear my head.
I returned to the city on a hunt for the right problems.