Every morning before the sun rose, we were awake and fed. Packed lunches set and boots strapped and tightened. This particular morning after a sleepless night where I was sure I’d never been so cold in my entire life, a pale yellow glow coated the mountains outside my tent. Two baby foxes rolled around fairly silently and allowed us to watch them play at the base of Paine Grande, perfectly framed in the flapping unzipped yellow fabric that closed in our body heat.
The sky cleared from the gray that cloaked the world the day before and the wind was strong enough to knock an adult to the ground. Nearing the ground every time a gust came by, the thrill of the mountains was inevitable. White mist danced and hovered above blue waters and white blue glaciers clung tight to the side of face of incredible boulders. Clouds passed forming ghosts of dark shadows in the distance. A small hike, only two hours today, provided us a day of relaxation in a valley of monsters we were to conquer.
That night, after flavors of pisco sour, we watched the stars dance in place like the last bobs of a yo-yo. The black sky was speckled with glitter. Through the chill, our breathing slowed and I couldn’t take my eyes of the red, orange and blue specks of energy.
These moments were quiet.
The next day we woke for the biggest hike of the trip through forests, past white burnt trees from an accidental disaster years prior, past waterfalls and rivers, up sides of mountains and across granite gravel. The night’s cloudless sky allowed for clear visuals of Torres del Paine, a naive jagged outline drawn by a child’s crayon: strong and untamed. As like when there’s nearly nothing left on a paintbrush, orange was pulled down across the peaks, faint but intriguing. What has there been or could be?
These moments at the top were still and dazed. A moment when you’re not the center, a small fleeting segment of matter in time. No one’s words mattered. You are here in every definition of the word. Colors are clearer, lines more defined. Surrounded by posed photos for posts; you’ll probably never be here again. How do you take a moment like this and make it last?
The next night, the clouds moved in and created a haze over everything.