My Last Night in the Mountains, A Poem, & A Bit of What's Next.
Tonight I walked slowly up the mountain behind the village I'm staying in, savoring each step upward. Legs, strong. Lungs, clear. Heart, full.
I was feeling reflective because tonight was no ordinary night on the mountain. Tonight is my last night on my last long walk in a year smashed full of fantastic long walks. Tomorrow I'll descend the countless steps back down to civilization and back to the rest of my life. I couldn't help but feel a bit like stalling.
The place I climbed to is famous for its views. Most make the climb in the early morning to catch the first glimmer of the morning light on the Himalayas. I was craving a bit of solitude so I went up in the late afternoon. A small crowd drifted around the summit, clicking photos, taking in the view, sitting quietly. The fading light on the mountains did not disappoint. It was gorgeous. It was getting chilly now with the sun down. People quickly headed back down the mountain to the warmth of their lodge and a plate of daal baat, the traditional Nepali dish served everywhere.
However, I had one little trick up my sleeve. I knew something they didn't, and this secret I was keeping to myself: the full moon was coming, and soon.
When its first shimmer edged over the snowy ridge something in me sung. Seconds later one of the few remaining people gasped, "Look! The moon!" A scramble for cameras ensued. A girl remarked, "It's soooo beautiful."
There are few things more stunning on this earth than the fading glow on the Himalayas. The rising moon, full and silvery over those mountains is surely one of them. It was cold now and nearly dark save for the moonlight shining ever brighter as the moon swung higher. The last people left. I was all alone.
What spell conceals these common things of rock, water, air, and fire and then suddenly transfigures them before our watching eyes?
The first stars shimmered, echoed by a hundred pin pricks of light in the many folded valleys far below; the lights of countless villages. A thin band of red light hung on the jagged horizon to the West. The mountains were ablaze now with the light of the moon. I was starting to shiver but I couldn't leave, riveted by this sight before me.
13 moons ago I was riveted by another full moon, this one setting over the High Sierra. I watched it fall from the top of Mt Whitney, the end of the John Muir Trail. So much between these two moments, more then my heart can either hold or comprehend.
For now, I know this: it is time to leave the mountains. As I stood there taking it all in I was aware of a new day dawning. It is time to write.
I took these words down from the mountain:
"What's going on inside of you is worthy of your full attention."
The mountains will have to wait. For now.
I saw something so Pure Rise above those snowy peaks Crystalline in its clarity Immense in its beauty Otherworldly in its origin
Your heart So free So good So alive
I love how far you've come
You have no idea how far I'd go for you Or how high we'll soar