White Out

Look forward across the sunset,
Surpass the oblivion of night.
Against the grim backdrop of life,
Look up at what shimmers,
What glamour these snow-covered peaks may offer.

Look!
Adventure awaits beyond this greenery -
Nature's masterpiece erect against the sky.
This Summer's journey is one heartbeat away
Only if we set forth and take flight.
Yet this Summer blazes on
With shivering draughts and daunting feats -
My feet tremble and heart wavers,
I ask, and ask myself:
Do I dare traverse,
Disturb nature with each stumble and step?
A thousand footfalls I have made,
But a thousand more do I dare tread?

The clouds in the distance storm in,
Each gust collapse every well-rooted tree.
I shiver in the unyielding himalayan cold
Squinting in this earth-shaking breeze.
And in this frightful weather,
The white-out blanks sight
Against deadlines and bustling and wired bound obligations to reality
And for once,
Clarity.

We are not greater than what we stand upon,
But in smallness, in deference,
Mother nature bestows kindness
And we can see
So clearly: beauty is
In every laughter
In every bowl of hot soup,
My tongue blisters itself in this subzero human heat.

Never feel afraid, alone,
For only this can be true:
The desertion of the valleys is childish -
Nature accompanies man.
In his pilgrimages,
In his fluttering voyages,
The sun shines on
In every smile - 
Radiance from these snow-battered souls
And each sun-burnt glory,
I am assured:
Man accompanies man.

At the end of the day,
If there ever be a sudden waft of bleakness,
And you begin to doubt once more:
What more can life bestow?
What more beauty can we seek?
Know for sure and without fear:
Indeed, indeed, reaching out can we find,
For ourselves, for our eyes,
Magnificence beyond compare,
Bedazzling our star-studded skies.

Look once more into the horizon -
The valleys whisper in the wind,
Strength and peace,
A priceless serenity.
Thousands of metres we have conquered,
Thousands more do we dare to savour.
What fortitude in man we have sought.
What gifts the mountains have endowed.
What greatness we have come to achieve.
What memories made and paths well-trod.

 The flags billow and wave goodbye,
The sun, rivers, earth, winds and sky.
Thousands of miles I have trekked,
Thousands of miles I have returned.
And with these sorely-tried feet,
With laboured shoulders weighed down
Only by the grandeur of these peaks,
I cannot, not for a single moment,
I cannot say I regret what these eyes have seen.