August 6, 2019
I write to remember -

Arriving at the airport,
Hot and sweaty with heat and anxiety,
Lost in the endless lines of people,
The sea of faces that were unfamiliar but smiling.

Riding through the streets in the early morning,
The slow movement of people starting their days,
The sun rising along with the
sounds of animals I had never heard,
Shop owners sweeping the dirt
off of front stoops to welcome the new day,

And more smiling faces.

The Hindu cremations at Pashupatinath Temple,
Standing silently in awe
of the rawness of grief,
Hiding tears behind my sunglasses,
Wishing I didn’t understand
the sounds of the bereaved and broken-hearted.

My first night in a small lodge,
Surrounded by friends
who had quickly become family,
Sharing tea, stories, noodle soup
and a feeling of excitement that
may forever go unmatched.

The hike I took alone in Dingboche,
Feeling so overwhelmed with
emotion and gratitude that I needed to be alone,
The way the snow started falling
and I watched from the foot of a stupa as the mountains slowly disappeared,
Wishing I could somehow carry this feeling forever.

The sun setting on Everest from Kala Patther,
The way it was slowly swallowed
by a curtain of orange and
I sat in such silence,
Fingers feeling so cold,
In complete disbelief of a moment
I had dreamt of for so long.

Sobbing at Everest Base Camp,
Not only from a sense of
achievement but also of grief.
Gently placing prayer flags in memory of loved ones,
And saying goodbye to a dream of 10 years.

I write to remember because I
love you too much to forget you:
The sights,
The smells,
The sounds,

And maybe more than anything,
Those smiles.

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