Day 4: Day of Ascension and Reflection
Good morning day. Today we begin—this is the day of ascension. We arrived to the bottom of Makalu early and here we were held at base camp until all of the other teams arrived so that we could begin our trek. The daily schedule of climbing is 4 hours in the morning, a lunch and rest break, then another 2 to 3 hours in the afternoon. The leaders are incredibly flexible they understand that each climber must honor their pace. And for me personally I am not trying to injure myself. These first few days are about acclimating. Our team color is orange. I have decided that for the first hour of every morning I will remain quiet, observe everything, and use this time for my daily meditation and prayers. Today I am carrying Courtney with me, in my ears I hear the words of a Green Day song, “On my own… here we go…” as I begin this trek I wish she could see this view. I wish she was here. It is absolutely incredible.
Vedanti gave each of us a role. Talika was in charge of communicating with base camp for periodic weather updates and check-ins. Dhriti, was second in command and would be the leader at the back of the line. Bhanupriya was this bright light who during the walk would just tell stories or lead us in song as we began. Chandani was put in charge of the end of each day, ensuring that all the members of the team were comfortable at night. She also led us in our evening prayer and meditation. Hasita kept everyone smiling; her smile can lift anyone’s spirit. Yamuna was selected as my partner, a Sherpa, Vedanti told me to stay close to Yamuna in case I lagged, that she had much to teach me since she is an accomplished mountaineer and lives in Nepal permanently. Before we began the ascent Vedanti led us in prayer, we each offered our climb to someone in particular. She dedicated the team’s climb to Joëlle Brupbacher, a swiss woman who died of acute mountain sickness in her tent at Camp 3; several years ago, she was just 33-years-old. Then we chanted, “We are the WARRIORS of LIGHT!!!” As we began the days climb.
We began moving up the mountain today at 7:00AM. I felt so amped. So excited. So ready and I was all smiles… until that first hour anyway. I was quickly out of breath and nauseous. I was offered oxygen early which I accepted. The women were very kind to me. they understood that this was my first time climbing Makalu and so they were extremely patient and loving with me. I can do this! My prayer for today is that I pay attention. That I not injure myself. That I watch my every step and listen closely to my teammates… keep my energy up and remember to breathe.
I have been thinking a lot about my life plan… my vision… my dreams… my goals. What is “The plan”? What is this greater plan? I understand that there is an order to things… but sometimes things feel so out of order…
It’s so strange how easily I rest here. I feel so at peace… I feel so grounded. It may have something to do with the women on my team. They each possess incredible healing gifts. I understand why they climb together. There is no ego… no competitiveness. The women each genuinely love and respect one another. This is the greatest gift I have been given. No one is withholding anything that could serve another. There is no one leader. They all lead. This is my lesson and reminder for today. I am reminded that I have been given so many gifts and blessings and opportunities that should be shared. And so now I will learn how to do this fully without feeling like I am completely left on empty.
Today I dedicated my climb to women everywhere who are afraid of taking that necessary step forward! This is for YOU!
Creator I give thanks for this day. Now I rest.
Namaste~ And so it is~ Aché
Note to readers following our journey: Now that we have begun our climb I will not be posting to facebook as often. Please follow my blog at the top of the page. Thank you for your love and well wishes.
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Note to newcomers accepting the writing challenge! You can begin the challenge at any point. There is no right or wrong way to participate. You are not being graded or judged. This is a gift we are giving ourselves. So be gentle during this process. We are about to climb a mountain, YO! Remember that. Remember we must be present. Release all self-defeating thoughts. You can do this. I do want to remind the new climbers that no matter what day you decide to join the challenge please begin at the beginning. It’s important to prepare! Please remember to post your daily responses in my comments on my blog. Sending you all love. See you at the top of the mountain.
With all my love,