T S Eliot Little Gidding
A person once close to me emphatically stated that the profession of guide is honourable. Though she referred to a specific form of guiding, geographical and based upon travel and survival, yet the statement is true.
There was another strand to that reasoning, which is that not anybody may become a guide, but only those who earn the title through skill, endurance and long experience.
I have to agree, though one need not be perfect to speak occasional wisdom, nor a model of success to recognise the right way.
To become a guide, one must have been sniffed at by wolves, and not simply the variety with four legs and grey fur. One must know wilderness, and not just the wild distant land of rock, water and fir but the barren place within.
One must know tranquility within a crowd, and welcome strangers as friends.
Loneliness is a mentor, that one may recognise truth reflected in the cold still waters of a mountain pool.
The tearing wind-whipped clouds of a storm-fractured sky tell of greater power that one cannot resist, but must bend and flex to.
I am no great guide, but will share the journey with you. You made mistakes and so did I, born of pride and innocence.
We may compare errors in competition for greater negligence, but instead let us gaze at the horizon. Sunset is beautiful, and sunrise more so.
We walk together, and a third accompanies us. Who is he, or is it she? I know not, yet that one whispers fruitful advice.
Is it advice, or riddles that we must deconstruct? Yet in love are they given, and in like spirit we unpick those fey words.
You are light-bearer and I am Hawk. You seek to illuminate, whilst my heart desires to soar free gazing down impartially. Serendipitously our ways align.
Clouds shut off the light, and you are disillusioned. Stormy gusts beat my wings, and I seek shelter on a tree bough where still I am tossed about.
Stillness reveals the beauty of shadow. A stout branch yields security. Thus a pause amidst turmoil lets peace and understanding creep in, fellows befriended through mutual goodness.
The guide mixes experience with optimism, rationality with intuition, thought with friendship.