Dew drops accumulated on a spider web that shone like tiny mirrors on the ground, warming ourselves around the fireplace in the most cherished company of a chick wrapped in a tiny piece of cloth (it had almost drowned and was shivering, so the villager had been kind enough to place it around the fireplace for some warmth), having lunch at the mountain top overlooking a beautiful lake in misty weather, sitting underneath a waterfall, a chemical engineer explaining various scientific stuff out there in the mountains proving how interdependent nature is with science, watching people express their kindness towards strangers (which very often we shy away from in our bustling city lives), a helping hand here and an encouraging smile there- if you ever thought that a trek is all about walking a trail or climbing up a hill then you absolutely need to sign up for the upcoming one.
From someone who was born clumsy & uncoordinated to someone who has gained little confidence when it comes to walking down an even street, I can’t thank my friend enough for introducing me to hiking. You will witness nature opening up to you, showing different shades and phenomena- the ones of whose existence you were unaware of. Like all other creations of nature, the mountains too are imbued with qualities of giving- they have given me some of life’s most prized possessions in the name of innumerable memories & unforgettable lessons.
Treks synchronize with life so much that I could not help but observe the affinity. It got me up-close and personal with nature and me. I can never put down in words the feeling I experienced while ascending a certain hill, when I heard and felt my heart thumping hard against my chest, that moment defined a rebirth- right out of the coffin of a corporate job, that very feeling has gone a long way in giving me courage to take a stand against trading such precious moments of life with anything less spectacular. Treks are a wonderful way to explore yourself; you get to know how your body and mind react to certain situations.
Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither did the mountain standing tall in front of you get created at the blink of an eye. The mountains or trek- as an activity, teach you the same lesson- you don’t reach the goal the moment you set your eyes upon it, you take one step at a time. At times when the destination isn’t visible because of the fog surrounding it, you don’t stop there, you keep walking the visible trail set in front of you just the way you are supposed to keep going on in life even though your goal seems to be nowhere nearby your eyesight. Changes happen gradually, they take time, and patience is the name of the game - a step by step process.
When I was too tired to move ahead and the goal didn’t motivate me to move any further, I remember turning around and my soul was feasted with a picturesque view, so kind those rough mountains had been to remind me of how far I had come already, they absorbed all the exertion and reflected me with an elevated level of motivation to move further. At times it is not the goal but how far a distance you have travelled that keeps you going.
Problems occur not when you are prepared but at times when they are least or not at all expected, so the lesson is to stay focused on your next step and not let your mind wander no matter how simple the terrain looks, thus teaching us to stay in present and to concentrate. This may or may not save you from minor injuries but it will save you from something even more dangerous- the guilt of having been reckless! The minimum baggage rule has something to say too. We are advised to carry minimum baggage comprising of only things that we need, as a heavy baggage could hamper the trekking process. This makes so much sense, very often in life we carry unwanted mental & emotional baggage, remembering to shed the unnecessary and obnoxious stuff will make the journey much lighter & easier.
And so the list will go on... So next time an opportunity comes knocking on your door just sign up for the trek even if there isn’t anyone to accompany you because eventually it’s just you and the mountains and since time & tide wait for no man why should you & I?; like Sir Edmund Hillary said, ‘It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.’