Racing Tomorrow

As I pushed hard up each mountain, I remained focused on getting to the next pass as quickly as possible. There was supposedly a big snowstorm on the way tomorrow. When the sun rose, I knew the forecast was correct as the winds had shifted and wildfire smoke eclipsed any sort of view. If I could reach the next pass by noon, I told myself, I would carry on over the last 20 miles of ridge and could maybe beat the storm.

Noon flew by and I was still crawling up and down the mountains. Finally, around 4 p.m., I reached the pass and quickly dropped down to the road below in search of water. I was so thirsty. Having had only half a liter to sip on all day, finding water was my first priority, then I could decide what was next. The creek labeled on the map was not running so I kept descending, and eventually I passed over a small trickle flowing through a pipe beneath the road. I dropped my pack and guzzled as much as I could stomach.

Finally, I could think and I realized my body was too tired at this point to consider going through the night to beat the storm and I was certainly not prepared for the predicted foot of snow. I either had to bail here or risk getting caught on an exposed ridge. I sat for an hour and weighed my options. Eventually, I called my sister to see if she could pick me up, telling her I couldn’t finish before the weather would roll in. In a rare turn of time, tomorrow won.

As I realized I was racing tomorrow, I suddenly thought of the analogy to the times we are facing now amid climate change, a global pandemic, social injustice, and an increasingly important U.S. Presidential election. It’s true that tomorrow never comes. Within that is the recognition that we have to do all we can right now. Tomorrow, as they say, is never promised.

I’ve been reading Thor Heyerdahl’s adventure story Kon-Tiki and found a fitting first sentence, “Some people believe in fate, others don’t. I do, and I don’t. It may seem at times as if invisible fingers move us about like puppets on strings. But for sure, we are not born to be dragged along. We can grab the strings ourselves and adjust our course at every crossroad, or take off at any little trail into the unknown.”

Call for Comments

  • Can you feel yourself sometimes racing for a tomorrow that may not ever come? Or something that may not ever be achievable?
  • How do you make an effort to stay in the present, or to make certain that the current moment is one you want to be in?

All photos: Hannah Green

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