Under South African Skies

Climb Every Mountain | July 18, 2009

 

Noble as an eagle

Noble as an eagle

 

 

At best, I’m reluctant to post a blog based on the title of a song from “The Sound of Music,” but when life gives you lemons…

Today we climbed Table Mountain. As far as I know it hasn’t made the cut as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but whoever decides those kinds of things should get this beauty on the list pronto. After many days of rain and planning schedules, we decided it was time to take advantage of the sunshine and celebrate Nelson Mandela’s birthday with good, old-fashioned Mother Nature.

Because some members of our group had climbed a few days earlier, they were set on improving on the time it took them to reach the summit. It was hard not to stop as we climbed, however, because a) climbing a mountain is tiring and b) each time we turned around, the scenery was more gorgeous than before. We each took countless photos but agreed that they couldn’t quite capture what we were seeing for ourselves.

It’s funny what a hike like that can do for your perspective. As I climbed higher and higher on the stony path, occasionally washing my face in spring water or stopping to catch the view from a patch of grass on a rock, all of the little things that had been bothering me throughout the week or even that morning seemed to drift away. All that seemed to matter in our lives during the few hours we spent at the top of the mountain was that we were there.

We enjoyed the breathtaking view of Cape Town for awhile, but it was eventually time to make the climb back down, which was surprisingly more difficult than the climb up. We played the Alphabet Movie Game (Theresa and I: 6, Ryan and Cate: 1) and then took a cab to the beach to grab a bite and watch the sunset. It seemed an appropriate way to end the day.

The group decided we should climb Table Mountain regularly, especially when we are feeling burdened or stressed by whatever else is going on in our lives. Climbing had apparently been as therapeutic for everyone else as it had been for me.

But it makes sense. I’m glad we had a chance to take in that beautiful view of Cape Town, to look out over all of the city’s buildings, the Atlantic Ocean and the rest of the mountain. It was important that we took that moment to rest and appreciate how far we’d come. In the coming months, we will have a lot of mountains–proverbial and real–to climb: at our service sites, at school, in the countless other ways we’ll learn and grow, and as we explore Table Mountain’s other trails.

Nelson Mandela once said, “I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment…” Like today, we’ll continue to have those moments where we need to stop and take in what we’ve done and all that surrounds us. And then we’ll keep climbing.

 

Table Mountain

Table Mountain

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4 Comments »

  1. Brian:

    I am enjoying your posts and updates on your activities so far. Don’t sweat the assignments and course work…you have great writing skills and will do just fine.

    Did you see the sports news last week about Tracy McGrady switching his uniform number from #1 to #3?
    You should be pleased with that news….

    Love,

    UJ

    Comment by UJ — July 20, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

    • Thanks UJ. I’m really glad you’re liking the blog.

      I hadn’t heard that about Tracy McGrady, but I’m glad to see him sharing a number with D Wade. He’s still playing for the Rockets, isn’t he?

      How’s everything going on your end? I’ve been enjoying the NPR concerts you showed me.

      Hope you, Beth, Adam, Jessica and Dave are all doing well.

      Love,
      Brian

      Comment by Brian Harper — July 27, 2009 @ 7:17 am

  2. Brian:

    I am enjoying your posts and updates on your activities so far. Don’t sweat the assignments and course work…you have great writing skills and will do just fine.

    Did you see the sports news last week about Tracy McGrady switching his uniform number from #1 to #3?
    You should be pleased with that news….

    Love,

    UJ

    Comment by UJ — July 20, 2009 @ 1:51 pm

  3. Ryan and I totes would have won the movie game if I’d been playing the whole time. I’m just sayin’.

    Comment by cateatthecape — July 22, 2009 @ 7:23 am


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About author

I'm a 20-year-old Marquette student currently studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. I like to play the guitar and piano, watch the Mighty Ducks trilogy, read, travel and write. My favorite Judd sister is Winona, and I share a birthday with Dan Quayle.

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