Monday, April 25, 2011

Letting go on Adam's Peak

Whilst at the elephant conservation center we are allowed to take weekends off if they aren't too busy, so along with two other volunteers we organised an overnight trip to Adam's Peak or Sri Pada as it is known in Sri Lanka. This holy mountain is a sacred mountain to Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and Muslims and stands at 2,243 meters high. At the top of this tear drop mountain is a footprint and legend has it that it is the footprint of the Buddha, while Christians believe it to be the first footprint of Adam from the bible hence the western name 'Adam's Peak'.

We had heard that it was best to get to the top to see the sunrise and this meant leaving our guesthouse at 2am!. I shared a room and a very small bed with the other female volunteer while Brent shared with the other male. During the night, my restless sleep was interrupted by a very strange dream about my late Grandmother. I woke in the middle of the night startled from my dream, covered in sweat with tears rolling down my cheeks and decided then and there to dedicate my climb to my Grandmother as my way of finally saying goodbye.

We set off in high spirits at 2am and began climbing stair after stair along with thousands of Buddhist pilgrims who chanted and sang the entire way up the mountain. The dedication of these people was incredible, with young women carrying their babies, elderly people slowly hovering up the steps and even a one-legged man on crutches. The path is dotted with little tea-stops and we made one refuel stop before continuing on. Not surprisingly it started to rain on our way up and the four of us shivered and dripped in our very unprepared outfits.

About three quarters of the way up I bought a single lotus flower from a man selling offerings to Buddha. I decided I would lay my flower down at the top for my Grandmother. The flower was tightly closed when I purchased it, but as I slowly made my way to the top of the mountain in the pouring rain, my flower completely opened its petals, strangely moving me to tears once again. As I reached the top of the mountain I prostrated respectfully to the Buddha and left my flower and Grandmother at last, at the top of the mountain.
There was something extremely magical and spiritual about walking up those steps in the dark and the rain amongst such devout Buddhists. Unfortunately the rain was so heavy by the time we reached the top that there was no sign of a sunset or any sort of a view or 'footprint' but I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders at being able to finally let my Grandmother go in such a beautiful place.
Suzi, me and Kate wearing our Buddhist bracelets

Adam's Peak

The start of the walk

The walk down in daylight with a lot less people

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful sentiment sweetheart so happy you had the chance to share a special moment with Grandma I'm sure she is watching over you love mum xxx