Ascending to the mountain is perhaps to my father a strong necessity on his life, maybe the reason that has allowed him to keep walking, to keep dreaming, to feel alive.
In David Le Breton’s book, Praise of walking, I found there’s a line that condense a better explanation to understand my father’s yearnings “...does not absolve us from our increasing responsibility for the mess in the world, but allow us to catch our breath, sharpen our senses, renew our curiosity”.
By using Le Breton’s quote, there’s a reflection that comes to my mind… Does my father know what modernity means? Is there by any chance something that he wants to decode and by then adapting to a new world? In other words, when he lives in the city, he is a slave, a dull being but out of the urban world he becomes another person, the one who walks alone on the heights of the moor and skillfully climbs the most dangerous rocks.
At first sight, it seems that my father looks for a refuge or to isolate into a spiritual dimension but the journey to the mountain is actually what transforms him into a real being, a man who by escaping the city it allows him to find dignity but his purpose of life. He is self-aware about the risks involved in trying to reach the summit of the mountain. He repeatedly has expressed that in order to recover his own breath and to become self-confident again he prefers to cross his boundaries.
Death must be always taken into consideration. Personally, I think we must take some risks to get close to the sublime and my father's relationship with death is actually very serene. If in the city he seems to live in a resigned, passive or submissive way, in the mountains he is completely different, he feels free. He even accepts a part of his fragility, he says he doesn't want to die in the city.
This story is not about sports or a love for a feat neither to register a record beaten for crowning a peak, what matters is the internal journey experienced by my father and what it comes from it, a constant desire to cross the border of the world of men trying to find the sublime of a mountain to strip out pretensions and hopefully finding freedom. Therefore, the fact that the victory is not sought makes this adventure worthwhile and more meaningful.
From my point of view, I consider that the more inhospitable could be the access to a place, the greater the challenge but bigger the spiritual meaning. Alternatively, the best climbers in the world have been challenging themselves only for the purpose of conquering the highest peaks so then I become more intrigued and wanting to know what the reasons are those ones that lead my father to return once again to the same summit.
Nowadays the mountain is different due to climate changing as a result the glaciers are melting and mother nature has become more inconsistent. My father has asked to accompany him on his ascent to the Quilindaña, as a matter of fact this opportunity comes to me in a special but with a personal meaning to finally get close each other as we used to. I’m being trained by him and I know that we both can accomplish this mission together.