It was a Wizard of Oz moment. Our guide pulled a heart-shaped rock out of his bag and presented it to me as a parting gift.
Six days earlier my husband and I started a hike through the Dolomites with two strangers, our guide and our hiking companion Jill. Now we were saying our goodbyes as four people who had bonded together during the steep climbs, the knee-deep snow, the strong winds, and the time spent together every day and evening. Our shared experience created a trust that allowed us to open our hearts and express some of our deepest thoughts about life and death in the context of the most spectacular scenery – a breathtaking part of creation that could only be reached on foot.
The trip underscored what is most important in life – relationships. We need each other. We needed our guide to show us where to go, how to hike, and to break trail in the snow and he needed our life perspective to make sense of his experience of losing his father when he was nine years old.
It was a life-changing journey. I’m still trying to figure out how I have been changed and how it has affected my perspective. I can’t quite seem to motivate myself to run or work out with no trip looming in the future. I had trouble restarting this blog and my writing. I’m still processing what was an incredible and almost indescribable trip. What’s next after a trip of a lifetime? What does it all mean?
One thing I know, I left a piece of my heart in the Dolomites.