Under The Shadow of the Tien Shan Mountains
Travelling through the Tien Shan Mountains in the middle of winter with my skis and snowshoes is something really special to me. Im always in love with mountains, it gives a sense of calmness in my soul and standing on top of a mountain, I feel nearer to heaven. Nothing between me and the blue sky and the stars, the clouds are moving below me, in the same direction of the blowing wind. Each of the elements here up in the high mountains is different than being on lowlands. The strong wind, the air that contains less oxygen, the smell and the quietness made me feel more aware of the right here and right now. It made me feel less about the worldy things and more aware about the existence, both inner and the outer world. After all, Im surrounded by the mother nature.
Travelling on my skis here in the Tien Shan Mountains also gives me totally new challenge and fresh experiences. I have travelled about 20000km on my bicycle since the past 4 years and I fell down only twice through really bad roads. Here in the Tien Shan, I have covered about 400km sliding the skis that are attached on my boots… and I fell countless times. And everytime I fall down… I fell down hard since the heavy sledge is attached to my body. Sometimes I fell down hard on slopes and the sledge hit my back from behind. It was painful but beautiful… a beautiful pain. Its beautiful because I learned new things… from the hard way but I think the best way to learn things is to learn it the hard way, so I will remember. And it’s a beautiful pain because the pain will go away, but not the memory. The memory will last until its time for me to close my eyes one day.
I moved slowly pulling my sledge here in the mountains for the whole day, watching the change of colours in the sky and different mood of the weather. Im trying to be like water in rivers, keep moving from the high mountains all the way down to the sea no matter what stands in between. It will flow calmly on smooth terrain, moving through different directions when there are rocks in between and moving fast when theres a waterfall in front… but no matter what, it will get to its destination… the vast ocean. Only difference is, the water is flowing down pushed by the force of the gravity… while I have to flow up pushed by the energy that I borrow from the mother nature, the energy I got from each breath.
I was once had a sleepless night under the stars, when I woke up from sleep in the middle of the night by the sound of fox. There were 2 foxes walking around my tent probably looking for food. The smell of food attracts them to company me for almost 2 hours in the middle of the night. I tried to sleep but they were loud which finally made me decide to keep them away. Theyre very shy creatures, they ran away when they saw my presence. When I went down from the mountain, village people told me its dangerous to be up there in the high mountains. There are wolves and avalanche! I think danger exists everywhere. I can make a long list of the danger being on the street. The feeling of worry should be used correctly. The feeling of worry should make us prepare on the worst thing that can happen, not stopping us from doing the things that we need to accomplish.
The time for my ski adventure is coming to an end. I can feel it coming with the sound from the snow when my skis are sliding over it. Im no more skiing on soft snow powder lately… but Im skiing on wet ice even in the mountains. The sun is shining fiercely again now, the spring season is waiting right outside the door, waiting to be embraced. Rivers and waterfall started to flow as usual… with moving water. No more ice except on really high altitude lakes. I reached a place called Jety Oguz, sitting just south of the Issykkul Lake and realized that the snow has turned into water. Sometimes I even skied on rocks!… since Im too lazy to take off the ski, walked over the rocks and put the skis back on again, so I just skied over… yep… only lazy skiers will experience skiing on rocks!.. or through muds.