I should be in bed. I should be sleeping. I should be drifting on dreams of mountain tops and white sands and 26.2 miles of dirt ribbon. My bags are full. Zippered. Boarding passes printed. It's go time. And I am peacefully overwhelmed. It's so much - the bags, the plans, the excitement, the connections, the details, the moments of anxiety, the hours of longing, the pressure to top out, the hope, the bulge around my hips created by my buckled pack, the sheer weight of the packed clif bars and pre-packaged applesauce. It's a lot. It is very, very much. But if you would put it all on a scale, pile it all up, stack it carefully - position and reposition it so it stays - and then add more. Throw in the days and weeks leading up, and the volume of emails to get details clarified again, again? oops can you help me again? Toss on top the number of trips to various stores to accumulate various very importing things I'm hoping we will never need - Imodium, blister packs, knee braces, a freshette (look it up). And on top of that pile the paperwork and the corrected paperwork. Pile it all on. Pile it high. Add every friend that's encouraged or laughed. Add family who cheers from stateside. Add all of the airport employees and the pilots and, why not!, add the planes themselves to this stack. When we arrive in Tanzania make sure you add hippos and giraffes, wildebeast and tree-climbing lions. The hyenas don't get along with much of anyone so place them carefully but include flamingos and Range Rovers and Maasai warriors as they're jumping and dancing while their women collect water. Line up dozens of porters ready to climb the mountain again and again - add them to the scale, each weighed down with luggage and gear and food balanced on their shiny heads. Put Kili herself on there - all 5 of her climates including the rainforest she beckons you in with, and the moorland she intoxicates you with, and the peak she lures you to. Include it all. Every morsel. Every drop. Pile it high. On that side of the scale.
And then, on this side of the scale place my gratitude. Place it square in the middle
... and then watch that scale tip.
If you think I'm lucky, you're right.
If you think I don't know it, you're wrong.
I'm the luckiest girl. Alive.