The Here and Now Of Trekking: Part Two
Here is part two of Kev Reynolds blog post about trekking in The Himalayas. Kev Reynolds is author of 47 books, including a series of guides to major Nepal trekking routes. He has trekked in Europe, Africa and South America, and made 18 treks in the Himalaya, and is an occasional trek and tour leader for Mountain Kingdoms.
Tom Longstaff, another great Himalayan explorer, promoted that view in This My Voyage: ‘Since happiness is most often found by those who have learned to live in every moment of the present, none has such prodigal opportunities for attaining that as the traveller.’ Longstaff continued that theme in a letter to Bill Murray while Murray was exploring the Panch Chuli: ‘…just forget all before and after and soak the moment in so that it will never come out.’
What is so compelling about trekking through an unknown country is the immediacy of existence. Life is instantaneous. There is no past or future, only the present; and that consists of simply putting one foot in front of the other. That simple act can be achieved without conscious thought (if all is going well), or it can be the most difficult or painful exercise imaginable if the way is rough and you’re dogged by illness or injury. On the trail when things go well, the days expand and every moment is cause for celebration; the journey itself becomes intoxicating, life enhancing. It is the ultimate great escape. Not an escape from reality (as some might suggest), but an escape into reality – an opportunity to divest oneself of the restraints and clutter of ‘normal’ existence, and to be cleansed by an awareness of what little it takes to survive and live well – if only for a few short weeks in a year.
Live the moment. Live it well. Live now.