BY VIVIAN COLOMBO
On a cool summer morning, I decided to pack my rucksack with lunch and set off on my, way along a mountain path.
A long path that would lead me to a 2000 metre high destination.
I put my boots on, took a walking stick and started my climb that lasted four hours.
I arrived in the middle of a forest where pines and tall trees blocked my view. I felt my soul immerse in something extraordinary that I still don’t understand.
I was halfway along my path, my legs were starting to get tired and my heart was pounding. I sat down on a rock to recover. I was red and sweaty. I began to drink some water from my bottle and eat some chocolate, when suddenly I heard a soft, sweet voice at my ear that asked me “Are you ok? Do you need any help?” It was a mountaineer who, that very same morning, had decided to take the same path as me.
He sat down next to me and said to me: “Come with me to recover, there is cold water from a nearby waterfall”.
Trusting that voice, I decided to follow him. When I arrived, my eyes opened wide with amazement. A small waterfall capable of filling the reservoir of a lake. Nature is so wonderful! It was as if I were in a pure oasis. Silence, peace and then the special voice of the mountaineer: “Drink this water, bathe yourself and let the water cleanse all your wounds and wash away all the suffering that you carry in your heart”. And then he said: “This is the path of self-confidence; to get up and reach the top means winning against every fear that rationally dominates your mind until it darkens your soul; reaching the top means using all your strength and energy to believe in yourself, to believe that the beauty that you now see around you can come from the beauty that lingers in your heart and lights up your face. The climb is hard and tiring like the path of life. But you must get to the top and not give up halfway. Find the strength within you, find strength in a deep and intimate relationship with the universe. You should not fear the world or the society in which you live. You must not let yourself be swallowed up, but be yourself, the author of your life”.
I was surprised by what he said. I stayed on the path with him after refilling my bottle with the cool, refreshing water. I walked and with each step I let myself be charmed by what I saw and felt inside me.
On the last stretch, to get to the top of the mountain, we clambered up rocks, similar to sea cliffs. The mountaineer gave me his hand and said to me: “When walking the path of life, it is often important to rely on the kindness of he who has given us the breath of life, the breath that has allowed us to breathe”.
As I touched his hand, I felt a great warmth rise up in my soul. Suddenly I asked him, “Who are you really?” And he answered me: “Perhaps someone has sent me to speak to your heart and strengthen your body and spirit”.
Once at the top, I turned round once again to look at his face and touch his hand, but unfortunately, I never saw him again.