Contextual information: I’m an extroverted libra. This is important because not only do I well interacting with others (that’s the libra part) but I need social interactions to feed my mental stability (extrovert!). Now to bring you up to speed: I’m carrying myself and a 50-pound backpack up a huge, rocky mountain under the hot sun. There is enough stamina required here to already test me, but now all the people I know on this entire planet are going about their lives and I am walking into the unknown….alone.
It’s me and the bush, the rocks, and the hot sun. My challenge has been laid in front of me for the next 20-plus days and I am alone to start moving across it. As I weave through the gaps in the bushes, my mind is filled with the thought of aloneness. I’ve experienced solitude before, but never have I ever been utterly removed from people before. Every step moves “aloneness” further from abstraction to my reality.
But then my mind moves to Lolla, the last person that I spoke to, hugged, smiled and laughed with. She may have left me on the side of the road, but I know without her needing to state it aloud that she is following my journey. She walks with me. She has sent me to the mountains with part of her. And I do not find it insignificant that Lolla was also the person to send me into the mountains at the start of my journey on October 1, in the Cederberg. She has been with me this entire time, like a wise Mother Spirit for me, and she will continue to be here with me.
And before my departure with Lolla, I did not wake up alone. I slept on the porch of a friend of Lolla’s, an artist living in Montagu, and when I awoke in the morning I was greeted by her tiny, curious kitten. Now I know cats all too well to assume that this cat cares about my journey, but when Lolla’s friend heard of my journey she offered me a bed, food, comfort, and so much more. Without any knowledge of me, she also joined my journey into the mountains.
My mind rewinds my path to Montagu, to Cape Town, to South Africa, to everything I am. So many people have helped me get here. So many people have given to this journey. Teachers, mentors, friends, strangers, and my family.
There is no aloneness to be found in these mountains. I walk first, finding the trail ahead, with many, many people walking with me.