May 6, 2010

Sunrise Hike!

This morning I woke up at 3:15 am, picked up a few friends, met a few more friends, and drove to a mountain just 30 minutes out of town for a sunrise hike. There were a few more cars of friends coming to meet us, but since we could see the faintest glimmer of a sunrise, we decided to start hiking and meet them at the top. When the eight of us reached the top, we breathed deeply and took in the amazing view around us as the sun peaked over the mountains.

A few minutes later, about 15 more of our classmates came up the mountain behind us - it was incredible. I'm not sure if it speaks to how amazing our class is, or how depraved our souls feel that a quarter of my medical school class decided (impromptu) to wake up before sunrise and hike up a mountain, before class!

We ate some home-made muffins, did some yoga stretches, then all lined up and one friend led us in a "Bonzai" salute - a celebration done on Mt. Fuji at sunrise by pilgrims and visiters, where you raise your hands to the sky and scream "BONZAIIIII" as loud and as long as you can. It was a beautiful thing.

Then we read some poetry, took another deep breath, and hiked back down. We grabbed some bagels before heading into class, wired and ready to go (okay, so half the people skipped class and went to take a nap - we're not robots). But I felt invigorated for the rest of the day.

One of the poems we read:

The Sun (by Mary Oliver)

Have you ever seen
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone--
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance--
and have you ever felt for anything

such wild love--
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you
as the sun
reaches out
as it warms you

as you stand there,
or have you too
turned from this world--

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?

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