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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.

Grounded Movement

Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

Sitting on the mossy earth with my back supported by an enormous grey rock, I am peacefully still. The wind billows and swirls all around me, but in this sheltered space I am finally warm. I inhale deeply and breathe in the powerful landscape that sprawls out in front of me. The grand snow-kissed mountains loom high above; humbling me completely. In the distance I hear the sound of trickling water, reminding me of raindrops on my bedroom window back home.The clouds drift back and forth enveloping the mountain peaks, like baby blue cotton candy on a summers day. I lean my head back and feel the support of solid stone. I feel safe. The same feeling as when someone I love holds me tight. I feel a strange combination of complete connection to the land, but also an unexplainable sense of distance. I am struck by the realization that I have never been surrounded by mountains in all four directions, without a tree in sight. And yet somehow it is a familiar feeling.


I think the quiet solitude of the mountains resonates somewhere in an untouched place inside me. I have always connected more with the ocean, the waves, and the sand than I ever have with the mountains. When I am soaked in sun and salt I feel energized and alive. But when I am hiking, and I feel my body and breath sync into a rythmn, and a rare presence forms my mind, I feel a new connection to the mountainous earth. Whenever my mind begins to drift away like a helium balloon, I look up at the expanse of mountainous terrain and I bring myself back to the moment. I remind myself, I am in Peru surrounded by dazzling turquoise lakes. I am in Peru surrounded by stoic snow-capped mountains. I am in Peru surrounded by energetic people who care about the land. I am in peru and every day is the start of an unpredictable adventure.