March 24, 2017
Breathe. Breathe as deeply as you can. Take breaks. Balance activity with rest. Listen to your body and to your heart. Be aware of how you feel all the time. Do not push, do not rush. Mountains, I have learned, teach us in their own extreme versions, what we should practice at all times.
After a good night a sleep, we feel acclimated to the heights. Today we aim to reach Tengboche, Nepal, 3,860 meters high before evening.
Morning is here, and we walk, stepping on rocks, and breathing air that is paper thin. A slice of moon accompanies us overhead. From time to time, stupas: Buddhist monuments representing the enlightened Buddha mind. Then, a Sherpa man passes us carrying a huge bag of rice, sustained mostly on his neck. How on earth can such men walk with such weights so fast?
The afternoon comes after potatoes for lunch. From here onwards, it’s just ascent. I hold on to this trekking pole as I hold to my own soul.
Cloudy skies, foggy air, snowy earth. It is freezing cold. We have come above the snow line. White can be seen above and below. I drink water and feel like I’m drinking ice. A beautiful Buddhist monastery is now at sight. We pause for a moment and seek rest and reconnection, but the doors are closed, and no monks are at sight. It’s probably too cold even for them. Can you imagine this place at the dead of winter?
Still, we walk. We know that in a few minutes, a warm bed will be at reach at Tengboche, and we will rest.