Mt Shasta: 12/21-22/07, Winter Solstice
Well Shasta, we came back to you. Safe and sound. Did you expect us? Oh, I see. You were along with us the whole time. Was it just to keep us safe? Or did you need the healing, the power, the experience of the other mountains too? Maybe so. Those peaks have given Rod and I a gift to hold onto, and they have given it to you too. Were we just a vehicle for you to ride to see your family? Were we an adventure you couldn't resist? Regardless, now I understand that you have made the same journey as we have, and you are stronger for it. I can feel it. And now you are a companion. You feel like an old friend. Coming back here really does feel like the closing of a circle. Well, it is. One full circle around Sun, one full circle around Earth. One full circle of seasons and stars. it is so safe and comfortable being back here with you.
Rod and I skinned up from Bunny Flat, stopped on the same ridge as last year and bowed to you. Then up to Horse Camp where we set up our tent (a much faster and more streamlined process than last time!), and enjoyed a full moon over your bright snowy edges. Wind howling. We melted snow, made dinner, then sat giggling and grinning stupidly at each other. We did it! It's done. We have circumnavigated the world climbing sacred mountains -an intentional yearlong meditation. A meditation on mountains, cultures, ourselves, our relationship, our fears, limitations, gifts, humor, impatience, misconceptions, and insights. A meditation on the sacred and the power of mountains in our lives and dreams. And we're back! It worked! Back at home, ease of old friends.
We popped open a bottle of nice Champagne (yup, carried the glass bottle and all -what's an extra few pounds on a night like this?). We popped it open and took swigs strait as we completely lost control. We were full volume. Swaying and hooting and howling at the moon. Our ruckus echoing off the ridges. Full moon, a splash for you Shasta, and tears. Celebration! We did it! We did it! We did it!
And yes Shasta, my old friend, remember back? You were the first big mountain I ever climbed. I was 18 years old. You pushed me, and tossed me, and worked my overconfident ass, and it did change my life. All I wanted to do after that was climb mountains... backpacking being just a skill needed to approach, rock climbing a skill to reach the peak, skiing a skill to better come down. We began this expedition with a bow to you, asking for your protection and blessing. You not only gave us that, you further decided to accompany us. And now we're back. Right here. The circumnavigation complete. We have visited, communicated with, paid our respect to, received teachings from, been thrown our by, and been given the gift of summiting a globe of mountains, all Apus really. Mountains held in sacred esteem by the peoples who know them. And we are now three bodies carrying the sacred light of these monuments to peace, love, and power from all around the world.