Life as we perceive it is so brief. And makes us so fragile.
When trekking the himalayan mountains one is constantly reminded of that. Reaching nearly 6000Mt above sea level with my 11kg backpack proved to be a challenge far more difficult than I could imagine. My feet were steel heavy. Their weight climbed all the way to my head and I felt my body giving in. One foot length at a time…
Zaon bistari bistari, my sherpa friend told me - walk slowly. But the mountain was starting to suck me in and it felt that to move one foot I had to drag the entire mountain with it. Zaon bistari bistari, he kept saying. And never left my side.
At some point my mind shut down. There was no mountain to climb, there was no mountain under my feet. The sky opened in all its vastness. The wind filled my lungs almost as if I was a balloon. I realised that I was surrendering. Surrendering to the mountain was surrendering to life, and by doing so I was giving up the “heavy me”, the “me mind” with all its constructions and beliefs and fears and trials. There is no thing to prove. No thing. Nothing.
I stood up to a much lighter body and when I finally got to the top of the Kala Pattar, I grabbed my camera as if it was a feather and raced around in all directions shooting. Right in front of me, the Everest. I was - literally - jumping up and down in happiness. Not one single drop of tiredness in my body.
Funny how the “mind” can have this immense power over us. My mind. My legs. My arms. They exist to serve me. I am taught my lessons through body experience. If my legs are tired, I sit. And rest them. Shutting down the mind is not that simple, but it can be done. I did it! And that’s what allowed me to continue! There’s no switch on and off button. I simply stopped resisting. I surrendered.
I don’t know if I’m ever going back to the Himalayas.
My memory often plays with me and takes me back to “my house”. When this memory comes my body feels refreshed. And I am happy.
Acceptance, surrendering, and love.
Nothing should really have power over us when all we know is transient. Why give it so much importance? Or any importance at all? Deal with whatever comes with acceptance. And only when it comes.
You climb a mountain. You learn a lesson. You go down and climb another one, this time higher. And on and on we go. Endlessly.
Maybe we need all these “mountains”.
Some day “life” catches up. We have no strength left to climb another mountain. Then what?
With Mount Everest on its background, I photograph an eagle. I was very happy with my shot. To the eagle, and the mountain, it made no difference.