#172: Jump Starts

Hikers in the Himalayas, looking out over mountain valley.
Upper Pisang, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

My car battery died. And some of the pressure left the tires. I went to the grocery store and none of the food looked appetizing; tonight was the first time in six weeks that I’ve made more than a cup of coffee. Being home after a season away, I find myself having to jump start much more than a motor vehicle.

Everything was so clear in the mountains, and simple. You wake up at sunrise and know what you have to do for the day – you have to walk. So you eat breakfast and start. You go for five hours, have lunch, go for two more. You do this day after day. You find the energy. At home I’ll write for two hours and get tired, then spend the rest of time doing who knows what. That’s one thing I’ve tried to smuggle back with me – the stamina I touched for two glorious weeks. But the raw sensations, the actual feelings felt on the trek – every time I tell someone about them, they harden a little more into mythology.

Maybe I should just stop talking.

It’s difficult. My memory is different here. Coming down from the mountains is coming down from the mountains. My approach so far is to stay busy, stay moving. Treat every day like it’s a day on the Circuit – on the path to where I’m going, but lived for its own sake. You can glimpse in the distance a snowy peak but you still have watch where you step.

I almost didn’t write to you tonight. I was going to do it in the morning, when I was better rested. But a voice said, “Do it tonight.”

“If you don’t do it tonight you’ll never do it.”

I doubt that’s true, but I needed the urgency. And that voice – it just might be the mountains talking.