The weather the past few days has been treacherous. We have had dangerous winds and frigid temperatures and my lips have been bleeding. But these ice storms are not the worst of it. Avalanches and steep falls are very real possibilities. Yet nothing will stop us. We are too close.
Talika keeps us informed every step of the way. She is in constant communication with base camp. And she knows exactly when we should stop for the day. However, there is something about her, something that makes me feel a little uneasy. Like Talika is not who she says she is. She only reveals what she wants you to see. On the outside she seems so strong, but I feel like she hasn’t really revealed who she is and why she is really here. It feels like there is a story she is afraid to share with us. She wants us to believe she is in control… but there is something that makes me think she is withholding from us. She is an incredible communicator when it comes to informing us about the dangers ahead, or what to expect on the mountain but we never really learn who she is and what her story is about.
Talika told us a story about Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner a woman who climbed mount Makalu without oxygen and all that it takes to arrive to the top and back down again. A woman who is a survivor. A fighter. A force. I wonder if she sees herself in this woman’s story.
As we begin week three I am meditating on boldness and this internal strength and the drive that it takes… this journey which has been incredibly difficult.
We have survived many storms and luckily missed an avalanche.
Premonitions and warnings ~
Paying attention to the signs ~
In a dream, while I was climbing up the mountain to my surprise I saw a flower. It was only ONE yellow flower, peeking out of the mountain. A yellow lotus. As I reach over to pick up the flower, I hesitated and realized that I don’t want it to die. I wondered how long that flower had been there? I couldn’t understand how this one flower could survive in this cold weather.
What I realized is that this flower is life… the yellow is love and prosperity… this flower is transparency…
Something amazing is happening on this mountain… what I am finding is the value of life… this flower is LIFE!
This flower is truth…
This flower wants to live forever…
I have no right to remove it from its home from its place…
How often have we felt ripped out of our place, taken before our time, left behind, abandoned and alone?
What am I seeing as I climb this mountain?
I am thirsty…
I haven’t had water in hours. When I look to the side I see an inhabited place. I notice that there is a house made of wood… who would live here? On this mountain? In this weather… with threats of avalanches…
I met the family and they shared with me that they have lived here for sixty years.
The grandmother said she would never leave this place. She has the bravest climbers come visit her yearly and she feeds all of them and prepares them for what is in store as they complete their voyage. She offers all of her wisdom on how to proceed. She told me stories about the many people who have died, and about those who successfully arrived to the top of the mountain.
I put my mask on around my neck and hugged the grandmother goodbye, telling her thank you for all the gifts she had given me and asked for her blessing as I continue my journey.
I am thinking about the many people from my dream… those from this magnificent village who live here and how they don’t need a mask to receive fresh air, they are open and they breathe effortlessly. They are home. They don’t feel afraid of this mountain.
They are home.
They have so much history.
They have so many stories and they are incredibly inviting. I am so grateful to them for welcoming me and being so open to sharing their history and culture. It’s about holding nothing back!
My dreams were filled with messages about solitude and home, success and messages on how to proceed.
Today I am preparing for our most grueling portion of the journey.
And I am ready!
And so it is. Namaste. Aché
The snow lotus – image source: http://image.baidu.com