Monday, May 3, 2010

My Highest Moments

     Our first day in Capetown, I set out with a group of friends to go to the top of table mountain.  There are two options to get to the top of table mountain: a cable car that takes you directly from the bottom to the top and vice versa or you can hike.  Worried about time, we considered the cable car.  But the line seemed miles long so we decided to hike fast.  How bad could the hike be anyway?  Most hikes that we’ve been on along this voyage have been windy paths with a slow incline.  Doable.  But when we started this hike it was a complete incline. Step after step-and f you remember from my China blog, the Great Wall ruined me on steps.  But we assumed it would have to flatten out soon so we kept on.  The higher and higher we climb I begin to realize there will be no release.
     I am complaining.  I have to stop every fifty feet.  Nick, Max, and Bailey were patient with me; they waited at every stop.  I tried to keep my mouth shut instead of blurting out how I regretted taking this hike, nonetheless taking this hike in jeans, nonetheless taking this hike in jeans at noon.  But as I looked down the mountain I could see there was no going back.  At every stop I kept thinking, “I could make it down….I could do it….I’ll just meet them at the bottom”.  What a wuss.  But I continued on.
     Once I got about half way up the mountain I began to hike longer stretches more easily.  I could breathe again.  I felt alive!  From that feeling on I was good to go.  I was pumped.  I was out of my mind high on life.  I couldn’t stop; I had to keep going to get more of these endorphins. I was alive!! I could tell we were getting close to the top.  I was yelling love in between the rocks and over the water of the cape which was getting further and further away.  I was alive!!!  Finally…the end.
     I reached the top!  Somehow, someway, and it was so worth it.  I have never felt more accomplished, rushed, or holy in my entire life.  We were literally looking out above the clouds.  This was the closest place to heaven on Earth.  So we danced on a huge boulder, on top of table mountain-on top of the world-and danced our praises and our gratitude.

     The dance was not over.  As soon as we got off the mountain we rushed back to the ship to meet up with Jenny and the spiritual dance group.  We were off to a dance studio that held a similar dance class to the spiritual dance we did on the ship.  It’s called five rhythms.
     The room was huge.  Half of the people were South Africans of all ages, the other half were college students from our ship.  I was afraid we were invading; I was afraid we were looking like idiots because we didn’t know this dance as well as our own.  In our dance we move, we walk, we explore the space.  The people here were contained and holding their ground.  I closed my eyes and danced how I wanted to, regardless of what I thought was wrong or right.  Quickly, my fears went away.  My feet were dancing, along with my legs, knees, arms, elbows, hands, fingers, neck, head.  My body was present.  Before I knew it, we were all dancing.  There was no longer a weird difference between us ship people and these locals.  We were just dancing together in this space, sharing breath and energy.  The music never stopped and neither did we.  It was one of the longest dances I have done and even though I was exhausted from the hike and the dancing, I had to keep going.  I have never been more of myself in my entire life than I was in that hour and a half.  That was a moment that was home.
     We went out to dinner with Jenny after the dance.  We had salad, pizza wine, and love.  These dancers have become my soulmates and I could imagine no better way to end my night than with them.  I thought about going out.  It was our first night in Capetown, we should be partying-raging.  But I felt no need.  I was here with my people, with myself in South Africa, feeling energy and love.
     Best day of my life.

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