JMT II – day 2: ‘Medicine walk’ up Sunrise Mountain

aka PCT day 52, June 10th 2015: LYV- Upper Cathedral Lake – 12-13 ml

forgot I'm a catIt’s 6:30am already when we get up. The clouds are still hanging low but a few ‘blue holes’ are in the sky. I’m relaxed. I’m on the JMT. No need to rush. I’m on the land that captured my heart. I wanna go slow.

We hike back up towards the Clouds Rest / Half Dome Junction and this time we go right, following the JMT. This is the place where I hugged Dave and Gordon, my trail angels who saved me from the mountain lion two years ago, goodbye.

Today I’ll walk my medicine walk. This path in the present connects my path in the past and my path in the future. Every step I take is memory, is hope, is prayer. Today all I do, all I think, is a prayer.
And then, while walking, I notice something has changed. A part of the land that used to be green, full of trees, is burned down. Burned land. So many lessons to learn from the burned land. New life is bursting with green and colors along the creek. Sometimes things have to die, so new life can be born.

We reach a lake in the middle of the burned land. It seems like a big big big puddle rain has created. We find deer tracks and then bear tracks. It’s fascinating. “I wish there were mountain lion tracks” I tell HQ. “Na,” he says, “it’s too muddy here. Cats don’t like that!” I still wanna go look further and then… splashhhhhh… my left foot sinks into the red mud. Within 2 seconds I feel the wet dirty water getting in my shoe. Damnnn. Haha I should have listened. Cats don’t go here. Have I forgotten I’m a cat too? This is a lake for the deer and the bears, not for cats.

We continue. The clouds create a mystic atmosphere. There’s no view back. As if the clouds cover the past with a soft white blanket. No need to look back girl… life is now… here. This is where you’re supposed to be. We take a break and eat a cliff bar. I think of the raptor I saw here two years ago but this time there are clouds, telling me to focus on what is happening right now, on the inside. No wide views. It’s time to look inwards.

We meet Dama from Thailand and then go on through the forest. It’s not far anymore. I start to prepare, to be ready, to be back at the spot where I met my mountain lion.

And then there it is. Exactly the same. I remember everything. I take some time alone and talk to my mountain lion in spirit. I ask for his message. I hear it and I realize I heard it all along. I am back home. So is my mountain lion. We are one. We are save. I have the heart of a mountain lion beating in my chest. Big tears drip down my face. I find peace. I will return here. I know. It’s hard to leave but I need to move on. I will keep on walking the way of the mountain lion.

As soon as we leave it starts raining like never before, as if all and everyone has to be washed clean. The fears and sorrows are washed away. I will walk my path, gracious, fierce. I will keep on climbing my own personal Sunrise Mountain. Even if I limp I will climb my mountain. I have that imagine in my heart: A limping mountain lion with a bright shiny fur climbing her mountain, slow but determined, doing what she was born for, sharing her gift with the world. And while she limps her way up she realizes her mountain has no summit. A summit would stop her from doing what she needs to do: Walking her path in a humble way, not towards the summit of her own ego, but in the humble awareness that life is not about the summit, but about the path.
In the pouring rain we climb Sunrise Mountain. We smile under our umbrellas. It’s raining raining raining. We are the sun today. We find a dry spot under a rock to eat lunch and then continue to hike in the rain. The trail has turned into a little stream. We pass Sunrise Camp, the meadow is beautiful. Wet, but beautiful. We cross our first ‘real’ stream, climb cathedral pass and head on toward the lakes. We could make it till Tuolumne but decide to camp close to Cathedral Peak. Hoping that the peak will come out of the clouds and we can still admire it’s beauty tonight. While having dinner holes in the cloudy sky appear and there it is… the peak(s).

Thank you universe! Thank you mountain lion! Thank you sunrise mountain!

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