"The mountains are calling and I must go."
Oh, how I know this feeling! And finally, finally I went.
The weather was gorgeous. The forest still lush and damp from recent rains. The critters were out and about with their young. The birds were particularly joyful. The vistas breathtaking. The starry nighttime sky cloudless.
I am now home. My back is so sore I am walking bent over. My left foot, which was once smashed and now has considerable arthritis, is swollen to almost twice its normal size. My blisters have blisters and are still filling with fluid. My knees are screaming. It is difficult to walk. I have so many bug bites that I’m surprised I have any blood left. And I have bites in places that only very intimate relations have ever seen. I am desperate to scratch. Martha is calling me Igor because this is pretty close to how I look:
And yes I am smiling just like that! I feel exhilarated! I am giddy with both energy and calm.
I am never more alive than when I am surrounded by and interacting with nature. I never feel as connected with the awesome energy of the universe as when I lay under a canopy of stars. It is both humbling and empowering. My soul soars.
This time I had something to prove to myself - that I have successfully overcome cancer and all the meds and surgeries and treatments I have endured these last couple of years. I needed to prove that I am stronger than they are. I trained hard for this trek and I conquered it. Physically I am exhausted, but I will recover. Mentally I am higher than the mountain I climbed.
But it’s all still there in my heart and soul. The walk, the hills, the sky, the solitary pain and pleasure—they will grow larger, sweeter, lovelier in the days to come, like a treasure found and then, voluntarily, surrendered. Returned to the mountains with my blessing. It leaves a golden glowing on the mind.”
I am tired but I am glowing.