Boxing Day walk at Arapiles. On special! One walk up the Pharos Gulley, music on! And some music it was. I’d set my iPod on shuffle. It started with Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street. O boy, did it make me feel like charging up the track!
Baker Street was my favourite song in the 8 hour repeat loop of the one 45 minute-cassette tape that gave us fifty five check out chicks at the Carrefour supermarket a rhythm for typing in the prices of whatever people bought. For me, it was on Wednesday and Friday nights, and all day on Saturday . The check out dance bought me a ticket to Canada ( my first flight ever!) , a bus ride to a mining town in the middle of nowhere, and a helicopter jump to the Lotus Flower Tower, in the Cirque of the Unclimbables, yep, you guessed it, in the middle of another nowhere. My first mountaineering expedition ever! Inspiring it was, listening to a corny song of yesteryear, bringing back to my today the energy of a twenty year old girl’s everyday dreams and realities.
Thirty four years on, in the Pharos Gulley, the joy transferred to Beyond the Smile, and our upcoming Wedding Trek in February. The excitement was now about connecting the dots, and devising with the Lura people a business plan and model involving the other three villages keepers of their community forest. So much to learn, for all of us. From all of us.
Did I tell you I love trees? Everywhere I ve been, there is a special tree I have to touch, and vibrate with. Like the one on the way to Aconcagua base camp, following the tiny water irrigation system, umbilicus to the river we had to cross later on, Rio Horcones.
The heat, the dust, the scarf dunked in the cool water and tied around the neck. How I loved it, and how it was always such a special moment, sharing my secret shortcut with the participants of my Aconcagua expeditions. Quite an adventure too, being a female leader in a land bursting with testosterone…
Back to Arapiles, Boxing Day. Lo and behold, the next song in my shuffle turned out to be Country One by Midnight Oil. I have always thought of it as our national anthem. My mantra, each step to the summit of Everest in 1997 one mantra closer to the top, intention, realisation.
It was good, starting Boxing Day this way, after a Xmas Day full of giving and receiving and love and joy. It is summer, here, so far temperatures are high during the day, thankfully low at night. Yep, taking about the weather. Must be the thirty odd years of Anglo Saxon culture I have been immersed in. On and off.
Where am I going with this? My musings took me on a journey from elation to love to doubt to guilt and back to reassuring and loving the adventurous, pure hearted if misguided young woman who spent years and years chasing her dreams and catching them and chasing some more, real dreams, delusions, illusions, hope, love, til she, til I found myself in a place where I lay down the weapons of shame, and embraced life as joy, again, now and forever. Growing older has its benefits.