Monday, November 25, 2013 retrospect

"And it was grace to live among the fruits of summer, to love by design, and walk the startling Earth for what seemed an endless resurrection of days."
-Diane Ackerman

Nepal. The Himalayas. Annapurna. And Machapuchare...the most beautiful; the most sacred; home to the gods. That final point seems obvious in its presence. What majesty!
The first time I saw them with my own eyes, I cried.
I went without expectations. I left with clarity and peace.
I was blessed by a lama in Kathmandu.
I have never traveled so far on foot. The simple act of walking, miles and miles to Annapurna Base Camp, was an exercise in empowerment. Today I feel stronger for it.
Along the way, I was lucky to reconnect with a dear friend of 18 years but one who has been a seeming world away, our divergent paths crossing at unexpected intervals over the years. She called me randomly one night this fall and in a moment of drunken clarity I suggested she join me on my trek. And she did. She was my witness. We laughed and cried, remembered and hoped. We drank cup after cup of sweet masala chai.
I learned that I prefer to put sugar in my soften the bitter with the sweet.
I remembered how to laugh out loud, and to relax into a smile.
I learned about Buddhism...from my sage Nepali guide as well as from books that found their way into my hands along the way...and conversations over dal baht at the dinner table.
Finally, I met an angel. Or, in the event that he was actually human, perhaps a soulmate? Perhaps. Chance and luck brought us together multiple times along the trail and in the cities. We shared so much. Those few short days and long conversations will occupy a special corner in my heart forever.
I believe that it's possible to fall in love in a day. Be that with mountains or men.
But eventually, you have to walk away.

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