On Climbing Mountains…
This video was made today, Sunday, March 13, 2016.
How would I get home?
Last Friday I climbed a mountain. I’m not talking about a metaphorical mountain. I’m talking about a real mountain. I had been working here at the villa on Colina Tropical for over a week and I was feeling a bit isolated. My clients are great and have three sweet kids. It takes a jeep to go up or down. And I was still recovering from Bronchitis. So, I had not ventured very far.
When Katie, the other volunteer suggested that we go into Almunecar a half an hour away for some shopping, I thought it would be no problem. She has a good sense of direction. So, walked down the mountain and caught a ride with our host’s friend. Unfortunately, as soon as Katie and I entered the market, we got separated. I tried to remain calm. We had no plan to meet up and neither of our phones were working. How would I get home?
I remembered that there was a bus back to Jete at 12:30 pm. So. I hurried and finished my shopping and went to find the bus. I didn’t even know where to get off the bus exactly. I hoped I would recognize their mailbox at the bottom of the mountain amongst all the houses and mailboxes in the town. On the bus, all the houses and buildings looked the same. But, as we came toward Jete, I could see the mailbox. But, how would I get up the mountain?
I had no jeep. And the mountain looked so high. How could I possibly walk up the mountain? It was several miles to the house… up hill! And how would I find my way? There were so many twist and turns… Maybe a car would come along. As I began walking, I saw an old many burning leaves on the side of the road. I told him I had never walked up the mountain alone before and I didn’t know if I would get lost. In that rapid Spanish he asked me where I was staying. I explained and asked if he thought it was possible to get there if I just went straight. I’m not sure he understood me but he didn’t seem shocked by the question, so I decided to give it a go.
I hoped I would recognize the way. As I walked along the road became steeper and I found myself huffing and puffing. On the positive side, because I was alone I could take my time and stop when I wanted to. The road kept twisting back on itself. I decided to try to keep the town to my right the way it looked when I looked down from the top of the mountain. After ten minutes I looked back and couldn’t believe how far I had come. The town looked so far away.
I had missed lunch and I was getting so hungry. When I passed an orange tree, loaded with fruit, I looked around and grabbed one. I sat down and peeled the orange. Juice ran down my chin as I enjoyed my lunch. Resuming the journey, I looked back down the mountain, again surprised at how far I had come. Rounding a corner, I didn’t know whether to go straight or down. Keeping the town to my right I decided to go down. It looked like it went back up. It looked vaguely familiar.
Pretty soon, I started to recognize areas that I had passed. Would it be possible to actually find the house? At one point I had to choose whether to go up past a house or keep going straight. I decide to follow along. I stopped to rest. I passed a water tank that looked familiar. The avocado trees were everywhere. I was getting higher and higher on the mountain. The view looking down started looking familiar. The house must be around here somewhere I thought…. At one point I couldn’t decide which way to go and I just had to go on intuition. And then suddenly, there was the house in the distance. I was so happy to see it. When I arrived, no one was there. But, I had made it. I did something that had seemed impossible. I found my way up a mountain alone! Over the next few days, my feelings about myself and abilities began to shift. Perhaps anything is possible…