The much awaited day had arrived! I had no trouble getting up at 5 AM for our annual monsoon trek, pumped as I was with adrenaline. On reaching the base point I saw my face reflected in every other person’s face, I could see the thrill of doing something adventurous (almost all of us were inexperienced trekkers) had pushed us to congregate in large groups. Each of us were here to see what lay at the top of the mountain, but as we began climbing the slope, our team leaders constantly reminded us that as much as the destination was important, the journey too was important.
The journey was not all pleasant, the consequences of falling because of loose ground was playing on our minds, noticing our fear and uncertainty, our team leader encouraged us to place our feet firmly on rocks, drawing an interesting parallel from the Bible
He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold;
I shall not be shaken.
The higher up we went, our strength dropped, some of us started feeling faint, our legs started wobbling, and we had to hold on to each other. Some of us wanted to give up halfway to the top, but someone would then inevitably whisper, “We’ve come this far, do you really want to quit now?”
And so we trudged on, until we reached the very top. I could feel the mountainous slope give way to a plain, and here the clouds weaved in and through us. I took a deep breath as I encountered green visions of grandeur, and the vast expanse stretched out before us made me seem insignificant, and then one of the team leaders said something that has stayed with me until today; she said “If you had settled for less, you would never have known what lay in wait for you”.
Debbie James is a young graduate from Mumbai and is presently working as an English Lecturer.