It is 5:30 in the morning and I am at the Cape Town airport lounge drinking black coffee and orange juice. Of course in separate vessels. I’m waiting for my flight to Joburg first, then on to Nairobi, and final destination, Kilimanjaro.
I am a whole half an hour early, half an hour awake, when I could have had some extra rest. I am tired, and this concerns me about my readiness for the hike up two mountains, Mt Meru first, back to back with Kilimanjaro. I know that half an hour longer in bed is unlikely to inject me with sudden power, but in my mind I feel like every bit would help. But never mind. I am here now, on my way to fulfilling part of a plan. I don’t know what to expect, and this simultaneously unsettled, as much as fills me with comfort. At this level, the physical level, I have done as much as I can to get me here (although perhaps sometimes less than I could have!), and here I am now.
I still have not been able to provide a convincing response as to why I’m doing this. I don’t know why. But whatever the reason, I am now here. Let me meet whatever is to come. And please, let this lower back pinch that makes it hard to even straighten up after a bend be quiet just long enough through the hike. I will take care of it when I return. Let my legs be strong, and my mood cheerful enough to see me through inevitable tough patches. And let’s meet each other along the way, trekking pole in each hand, one foot in front of the other, pole pole.