Jan 12, 2014

Shiva Shakti

Now that bag drama had finally ended I could move on to thinking about and obsessing over other things like “what the hell am I doing climbing a 19,340 foot mountain!” Albeit the thought should have crossed my mind prior to being a couple miles from the gate but I was a bit preoccupied. At the foot of the mountain it looked peaceful yet intimidating, I couldn’t see the snow at the top, hell I couldn’t even see the top. All I saw were foreigners from everywhere gathered at the gate with their tour operators. Some were outfitted in the best of best trekking gear and others in lululemon tanks and groove pants. 

There were people of all shapes and sizes and probably of all fitness levels all here to summit this mountain and make it to Uhuru Peak, the highest point on this mountain named after the Swahili word meaning “freedom”.  I liked the sound of standing on top of Freedom Peak.

Some of the bloggers I had started following suggested bringing something to leave at the peak. I brought a small yet powerful Shiva statue with the intention of placing Shiva on top of the highest peak in Africa. What I didn’t know then was that Shiva statue had the intention of also placing ME on the tallest peak in Africa.

Shiva is a Hindu deity typically characterized by dreadlocks and blue coloring, sitting on tiger skin in peace and rage. He was the deity that I’d grown fond of as a kid when my dad told me that by reciting Shiva’s name “Om Namah Shivaya” 7 times, all my fears would go away. I never stopped reciting this mantra and developed a strong connection to this powerfully chaotic and deeply passionate deity.  I don’t know if it was the cold weather, the malaria meds, or the altitude but whenever I had doubt in my head if I could get to the top there was a voice that spoke back invoking in me an unknown confidence and faith to keep moving forward, I had a job to complete and that was to get Shiva to the top of the mountain.