May we be as majestic as the mountains, as humble as the lakes and as resilient as the trees
May we be as majestic as the mountains, as humble as the lakes and as resilient as the trees
Don’t let a few grey clouds blur your perspective
I find that one of the greatest sources of peace and tranquility are found in nature. It is absolutely amazing to be able to watch one of the most powerful forces in action and to watch the secrets of the universe unfold right in front of us.
As I walk through my usual ravine walk, I pass by a stream on my right. I crouch by its banks, listening to it and watch as it flows with such agility. There is a definite strength and power to it, yet there is also a beautiful lightness. The water from this stream travels far because it continues to move in the direction it is meant to move in. It knows its purpose and is persistent in getting there. Once you have realized your purpose, move in the direction you are meant to move in. Be light, be agile. There is a grander force in effect.
As I zoom out and appreciate the backdrop of the stream, I notice rocks that lie beneath its surface. Above it, branches of trees. Alongside it, the rocks and grass. Together, they co-exist. One does not necessarily take from the other, nor is there a need for specific space. Together, they form a masterpiece. Co-exist.
3) Each grows at its own pace
Early in October, I noticed that one tree’s leaves had turned red before the rest. Today, while most trees are starting to turn green, it is still bare. Yesterday, it was the most beautiful of all. And soon , it will be as beautiful as the others. But each tree grows at its own pace and each becomes beautiful in its own way. Be you
4) Impossible is nothing
The plants have minds of their own. They do not just grow in the most lush of areas but in all places. It has an ability to grow in places that one wouldn’t generally expect. There are no rules for nature. Impossible and possible are just figments of our imagination. Similarly, the sky is not your limit, your mind is.Believe
5)External forces cannot be controlled
This year, our Spring is a little cooler than usual. That means that the trees and flowers have taken longer to bloom. Humans, may be complaining, but the trees, the trees and the flowers know that after Winter, Spring will come. The tree or the flower cannot control the seasons. Similarly, we as humans, cannot always control the external, yet we endanger our health thinking we can. Let go.
“What has reached you was never meant to miss you and what has missed you was never meant to reach you.” Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H)
On the last part of my walk, I noticed a greener patch. As I looked closer, I realized that there was a water drain right above it. The grass is greener where you water it. Start watering the parts of your life you want growth in. Love yourself. Love others.
6) Despite everything, His Light Awaits you
To see these beautiful forces in play is quite mesmerizing. What is empowering, however, is that the same Creator of these powerful forces, created us. The Creator of the Noble mountains, and the powerful Ocean, is the one who created us. We, as humans, carry the same potential and beauty as nature. It’s high time we start living up to it.
“It is He who sends down water from the sky. From it you drink and from it come the shrubs among which you graze your herds. And by it He makes crops grow for you and olives and dates and grapes and fruit of every kind. Therein is certainly a sign in that for people who reflect. He has made the night and the day subservient to you, and the sun, the moon and the stars, all subject to His command. Therein are certainly signs in that for people who use their intellect. And also, the things of varying colours He has created for you in the earth. There is certainly a sign in that for people who pay heed. It is He who made the sea subservient to you so that you can eat fresh flesh from it and bring out from it ornaments to wear. And you see the ships cleaving through it so that you can seek His bounty, and so that perhaps you may show thanks. He cast firmly embedded mountains on the earth so it would not move under you, and rivers, pathways, and landmarks so that perhaps you might be guided. And they are guided by the stars. Is He Who creates like him who does not create? O will you not pay heed?”(Quran 16:10-17)
I once read something along the lines of this :” Some of us go through therapy , the rest of us climb mountains.” I figure that could mean one of two things
1) We actually have to climb the mountains(problems) of our lives alone vs with the help of a therapist to decipher our innermost thoughts or
2) Climbing mountains are our therapy.
I’m not sure which the writer intended but ‘d like to think it was the second one just cause it allows for some creativity. Personally, I find literally climbing mountains really therapeutic. I constantly find analogies within nature that pertain to real life that just keep me going. I know that there is even a Development Initiative right here in Cape Town called Beep ( beyond Expectations Environment Programme) where they take students every weekend on a hike through Table Mountain with the aim of showing them the natural beauty that surrounds them, their obligations to the environment and as an initiative to maybe get some local gardens growing and just teaching them about social issues. Nothing like climbing a real mountain to show you you can climb your very own!
I went hiking on Saturday – a hike they call Lion’s Head. It’s suppose to be beautiful and a hike I had to do before I left Cape Town and my stays are always unpredictable..so rather sooner than later :D. My friends and I got there around 3 pm after picking up a few snacks and by that I mean a banana and a bottle of water..in hindsight I should have gotten more. We drove up to a certain height and then parked our car. Half of the hike was a dirt road and mostly an upward walk. Along that walk you get to see Table Mountain and a whole mountain range around the peninsula. It was nice to know I could stop and look as I chose with nobody urging me on like at Kili.
Even though it’s absolutely gorgeous and I know that the minute I leave Cape Town I’ll miss these mountains and this Ocean, I have grown accustomed to it all and need to remind myself how beautiful it truly is. Along the way we met a woman from the UK and a man from Germany who were in the middle of installing a solar-powered project in Cape Town. It was exciting to know that green power is starting to spread across the globe and people are trying to make changes. My friends and I were the ones trying to get to the top of projects like these people and it was sort of a beacon of light for us..and we mentioned that and they replied by telling us they were the ones starting it but we would be the ones finishing it 😉
Soon we said our goodbyes and moved on and things started to get a little harder. It started becoming thinner ledges and more scrambling and rock climbing to get to the top. There were parts where you had to hold onto chains and climb up bars and ladders. Come to think of it – sounds a bit like an obstacle course..except its towering over Cape Town with more rock to catch you. Splendid. Kind of like life..at the beginning it’s a pretty easy road – you follow the path and if you fall you don’t fall that hard but as you go further – the ground under you shakes and if you fall – you fall hard – then again though you’ve built yourself up to be pretty strong to be climbing those bars and ledges so you can pick yourself up – you’re not dead but heck..you’re stronger.
Something that was pretty sad – was the amount of litter up there. One of my friends is really into the environment and the first time he picked something up from the mountain, I though he was picking up a rock and putting it in his pocket. I found that kind of weird because a conservationist doesn’t always pick things up from their natural environment ..as time went on he picked up more and more ..by the end of the hike his bag was full of plastic bottles and garbage. It’s pretty sad that people come up there for the nature and the beauty and leave it worse than when they went up there.
Things got rockier and amongst the rocks we saw three big trees growing out of the rocks. It was pretty amazing to see a plant grow in such dry conditions but was just proof that a life can survive under the harshest of situations and can grow and grow to a magnificent height..
As things got rockier..the path also seemed to disappear. There didn’t seem to be one right way to the top. Some of my friends went right ..others went left and some went straight. Whichever route we took – we ended up converging at one point – yet all at different times. Some of us scrambling..others climbing and some of us just taking huge steps against gravity. It made me think how there was no right way to the top. Some routes were hard , others were harder but with patience and perseverance we would all eventually get to the top. Some of us may struggle more as some paths are harder but then when more paths come – they seem easier because they have seen worse..
As we got to the top – we all kind of split. It was a natural split and nothing against one another. We were all in awe of the beauty and went searching for our little spot at the top. I would think it was to contemplate but weirdly enough – I had nothing on my mind. I had absolutely nothing on my mind..which basically never happens but I made the most of it. There was a ledge that was jutting out that I kept eyeing. It seemed a bit daunting to go out and sit there but it was doable. I’ll admit I was a little bit of a chicken and asked someone else if they would do it. They did and soon I followed after them. It’s funny because it wasn’t like the ground under me was going to move and there was enough space for my foot so that I could step onto the ledge and so I guess I was afraid of my own instability and possibly losing balance or simply losing footing. It really does not surprise me then when we are afraid to take steps in life when the ground under us is unstable and completely unpredictable yet everyday we keep on walking…that is the human spirit.
Sitting on that ledge was pretty liberating but also a bit scary. Yet it was that hugeness factor that reminds me how small I am in comparison to the world which I always yearn for- and I got that.
We had heard that Lions head had a beautiful sunset but decided to head down. On our way down we realized we would catch the sunset if we were on the right side of the mountain at the right time. One side of the mountain faced the Ocean and the other didn’t and the path did go around the mountain. When the mountain did not face the water we skipped and jogged through it and when it faced it we tried to estimate if we would be back on this side in time for it. K I’ll stop with the suspense…we ended up catching the sunset and what a sunset it was …the sky surrounding the sun was orange and blue and as you scanned the sky to the other side there was pink and blue. we literally watched the sun sink into the water.
After that we still had time to make it to the bottom with enough light but also caught a glimpse of beautiful Cape Town by night.
2 Months ago I finished climbing the mighty Kilimanjaro. At first all I could remember was how hard it was .. Now ..I can finally romanticize about it.:)
The top of the mountain or what seemed like the top that would only come out in the early morning and in the middle of the night. It was also a symbol of hope – a reminder of our end objective. Like how they say it’s good to visualize where you want to be – it helps you get through the struggle of getting there.
The morning sun from our camps. It always served to give us that renewed energy to conquer a new day.
When hiking and looking around you all you saw was the rest of the mountain. Larger than life.
Steepness in all its glory 🙂
Being able to see Mt Meru in the distance from Kili
Literally being above the clouds..unimaginable.
🙂 Being amongst the clouds…
To get to this spot I ventured a little bit past the camps where nobody else was and sat here for a while..just me and nature and not struggling to breathe. Trying to take in this moment right here.
The Snow-capped Peaks of Kili
I remember looking back at the sun and letting it warm me up and giving me strength to finish off the remaining part of this amazing journey. I think taking strength from the beauty that surrounded me was essential in getting me to the top.
Making our way down from the top and realizing that anything was possible with hope, patience and determination.
I went with an amazing company called safari BIG 5. If you are ever interested in making a trek of a lifetime , their website is http://www.safaribig5.com. Make sure you check them out.