I spent much of Sunday in the garden with Marian preparing our plot for planting in a few weeks. We were doing some weeding…and I had a few thoughts…I’ll get back to those in a bit after a few updates.
Folks have been asking about how Ade and Bill are making out. Here is the latest update I have about their progress towards the summit: “Bill and Ade are at Camp 3 – they’re strong and well, but it’s windy so they’re waiting for weather before the move up to Camp 4 (south col).” It sounds like it’s going well so far and I have all of my body parts crossed for them for safe trip to the summit and home.
Amit was stricken by sudden onset acute mountain sickness on his way through the icefall. He was evacuated by helicopter to Kathmandu and is now doing fine but his climb for this year, like mine, is over.
I visited the doctor here yesterday. She believes that the rapid descent by helicopter may have altered the position of my balance crystals in my left ear resulting in the some of the symptoms I’ve been having since leaving the hospital. I’m on a medication that’s supposed to help and I have an appointment with an ENT specialist in the morning for the Epley maneuver to help move the crystals back to where they need to be so I can feel like myself again. They have also ordered a few other tests to make sure all is well. I’m hopeful that I’ll soon be back to 100% and able to participate in all the physical activities that I love.
Marian is fond of saying the best revenge for garden weeds is to eat them. She’s quite knowledgable about wild edibles in general and which garden “weeds” are also edible. It can feel like a bonus when we eat Chick Weed or Dandelions…like a two for one special at the store. As I weeded and wove-the ear thing makes me a bit unstable of my feet-I thought about Everest and some of the lessons I would take from this attempt. Of course, the disappointment is still there-it pokes it’s head up every now and again like a fresh weed in spring. I pluck it out. It appears somewhere else. I think it about it some more. Pluck the weed. Go forward. Pluck the weed. I know from past experience that as time passes, the disappointment will poke through less and less and more of the the fine and fun memories will prevail.
In the meantime, I had the imagine of eating the weeds. By this I mean accepting the lessons that I’ve been offered by the experience. I mean enjoying the reflection process. Diving deep into the rich soil of the intellectual, spiritual, and physical parts of the expedition and all they have taught me. Making note of what I see contributed to how it played out, what I might do differently and what I might keep and take forward into future expeditions. Looking at the weeds/life lessons as nourishment-as deep green yummy vitamins for rich growth-rather than something pesky to be eliminated. By eating the weeds, I can harvest the lush yet unexpected/unanticipated narratives that might have been buried in the dirt. By picking, preparing, and “cooking” both the weeds and the harvest from the expedition, I am taking all that I can from this patch of expedition ground.
I’ve been receiving many get well wishes and congratulations. As many of you know, I love young people’s art. I love how green this mountain landscape is and it feels fitting to close this update with it. Thanks for all of your support and kind thoughts as I transition back from Everest and Nepal. It’s means a tremendous amount to me and helps me move from there to here. Much appreciated.