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Two Dragons welcome the sunrise with an improvised dance atop the Andes. Photo by Ryan Gasper.

Look up into the stars

Coming into camp after 8h of walking can be tough:

your feet hurt, you are hungry, you are tired.

you feel the marks of your heavy backpack on your shoulders.

you cure your blisters, you cure your bug bites.

you sweat from walking under your layers.

you cannot shower or you do not have much clothes to change.

you have to set up your tent, you have to start cooking and cleaning.

your fingers and ears are still cold and you just want to slide into your sleeping bag.

you feel  the groups tensions after being so close for several days.

your “toilet visit” (shovel) is cold and uncomfortable.

you feel the urge for all the comforts you have back home.

 

But once we finish the day, once we calm down, once we can take a moment and look up into the stars – we reflect.

We reflect on our day, on all the beauty we have seen – glaciers, mountains, the change of nature, waterfalls, birds and butterflies, the sounds of wildlife.

We reflect on all the experiences we made – jumping into the current of the cold river, walking on the edge of a straight cliff, climbing the highest mountain around you.

 

Suddenly all the discomfort, all the struggle is forgotten when reflection turns into appreciation for the situation you are in right now. You are happy.

You look forward to the next day, the new experiences lying ahead and you may be looking forward to the struggles/ discomfort which, as the day has shown, you can overcome; It was worth it.

 

Sometimes taking a moment to look up into the stars and reflect can change your whole day!

 

So now, look up into the stars.