Everest 3.0: Eating the Weeds

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.

My Teammates
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.

The Weeds
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.

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4 Responses to Everest 3.0: Eating the Weeds

  1. Jill says:

    Love your reflections!
    Would also like to know Marion’s recipes for dandelion and chickweed since they grow very well in the Deep South😀

  2. lookingforlori says:

    This post is so wonderful. We do have to experience it all 🙂 My 8 year old son asked what was your favorite part of your Adventure ? We are all still with you. We are growing our garden too and have a little greenhouse which my boys help me with. There are lessons available in all we do, the big things and little things, there’s something to learn and take from it. If we can live this life and perhaps help others and be an inspiration, I’d say that’s a life well lived ❤ All the best on your healing and next adventures.

    • TA Loeffler says:

      My favourite part of this adventure was getting to share it with so many people. I loved writing and doing audio updates about all I was seeing and experiencing. I was also very pleased to sleep at Camp Three and see so much mountain beauty. Good growing for your garden!

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