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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

What is sacred to you?

On march 16, day 10 of our trek, we where given a thinking prompt. We dedicated our first hour of trekking to be silent specifically for this prompt. And so, after the instructors told us this food for thought, one foot after the other, I started to think. Immediately my mind went to nature: mountains, trees and rivers. Being constantly surrounded by them makes it hard to think of anything else, especially when they are so imposing. After playing with this thought for a while I started questioning what sacred actually meant to me. For some people the definition may be directly related to religion, but for me it has a rather different meaning. Sacred to me is something that I value beyond any daily thing, something I would not be able to live without. I came to the realization that even though I love mountains, trees and rivers, I can live without them. After a few more steps I started thinking that everything I love in the world, I love because of how I perceive it.  I perceive all the things I love through my senses. Through my ears I hear the birds sing and  the sounds that the river makes. Through my eyes I see all the sun raising through the mountains. Through my hands I can feel the coldness of the glacier melt while I pick my favorite rocks, my feet feel the combination of hard ground and soft grass as I take of my boots when we get to camp. Through my nose I smell the coffee and porridge that I take my time indulging because I know it will fuel the day to come. Without all my five senses I wouldn’t be able to enjoy any of these things that make my routine so enjoyable. I came to the conclusion that to me, my five senses are what’s sacred to me, because without them I couldn’t experience the world the way I do.