“It was the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last.”
Throughout the climb I had seen a small parting in the clouds, a strange glimmer in an ashen sky. It haunted me from dawn to dusk, like Gatsby’s green light, giving me hope when I needed it the most. Like Gatsby’s green light, this little beacon too eventually disappeared, on the night of the summit we were so far above the clouds that my talisman was no longer visible. Abandoned by hope, I climbed higher and higher with every hour. The altitude’s toll on my body grew with each passing minute; my vision narrowed, my breath grew ragged, and droplets of blood were beginning to trickle down my nose. A dear friend of mine had said I would get up and down the mountain on sheer stubbornness alone, and he was right. Determined not to bare the shame of turning back, I ploughed on, growing more weary by the step.
By the time I reached summit, taking the customary photograph proved to be an ordeal of it’s own kind. But as I paused, taking in the whipping of the snow around me, the freezing air that filled my lungs, and the awe-inspiring presence of the mountain and the glaciers that flanked me, I felt in the presence of a power higher that any I could imagine. In that moment, a part of me died and was reborn, I felt like that in that moment I had become worthy. It was in that moment that I knew that no matter how difficult, no matter how dangerous the next mountain, this would be the first of many.
Written for the Daily Post’s Opening Line Discover Challenge
For a beautiful take on the creation of mountains check out Sara Ackerman’s post here.
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