Partnership, mentorship, friendship. I've been thinking about these words a lot recently while traipsing around the canyons of Arizona and Utah, generally tethered to someone or something by a rope which serves as a fixed line, an anchor. The commonality is trust.
What happens when we step beyond the edge? We trust in the technical systems to keep us grounded even while our bodies hang. We trust our partners to belay us, to advise us, to incite sincere thought while we navigate new terrain. I've often thought of trust as an ephemeral state; after all, it doesn't take much for it to evaporate, and we as humans are subject to frequent faltering and many missteps. Trust is paramount, though—in climbing, in friendship, in every aspect of life that's worth a damn really. To trust a friend's intentions, to trust a partner's words, to believe in them with equal conviction as you believe in the security of the rope—that's everything. Thanks to the friends new and old who have reinforced this truth.