the icefall was in front of us. we had our crampons on and the ropes were secured. ladders were stretched across the crevasses and we had weighty backpacks filled with dehydrated food, protein bars and water. we were ready.
ha! in our dreams.
we climb mount everest regularly. now, don’t get all particular about whether this is literal or not. i am a giant fan of all-things-everest so we lose our breath watching others climb on video clips, movies, in books. we are soooo there. but, no, not really THERE.
i can’t imagine climbing everest actually. the perils, the training, the cold, the cost, the crowds (!) all point to the fact that i won’t be climbing everest. but we can climb other mountains, literal and figurative, and stand at the summit shooting selfies with a triumphant expression, realizing a dream. on our way back down we pass others on the way up; some linger on the ropes, unable to move. we offer encouraging words, but, in our conquest, we have already forgotten what it felt like to hang, even momentarily, on the rope, paralyzed.
we all have icefalls in front of us. they are insurmountable. they are surmountable. perhaps some crampons, ropes, ladders and a backpack filled with food and water will help. believing we can realize a dream, overcome an obstacle is the first step.
and, even more, remembering that bit of humility toward others, vulnerable on their way up while we are on our victorious way back down.