Slow down or you might miss it

I returned from El Chalten late yesterday afternoon and as soon as I arrived I hurriedly trekked a couple of hours to the first lagoon where I raced to have my tent up before the sun went down. I think it was a draw.

The next day I trekked about 20km to other nearby lagoons and a viewpoint of the Fitz Roy mountains. It has been very cold over the last two days so the peaks of all the highest mountains were missing. [I've been trying endlessly to upload photos but this maldita computer simply won't cooperate.]

After reaching the viewpoint of the absent mountains I hurriedly began my descent - at double pace - and in the process hurt my left knee, forcing me to limp down using a stick for support for the last 2.5 hours.

During this prolonged, painful descent I reflected on the severe pain that shot through my entire leg with every step - I knew there was something to learn from this. I realised that sometimes I race. And when I hurry - through my travels or through life - I think I miss some pretty beautiful details.

So as my pace slowed to a trot I opened my senses and I saw the bright green of the trees, the distant whites of the mountain tops and the rich browns of the termite-eaten trees. I heard the trickle of the rivers as they drained from the melting glaciers and I heard the flutter of dragon-fly wings. I felt the bite of crisp, mountain air on my ears, I opened my mouth and tasted the snow as it landed on my tongue.

Sometimes we are looking but not seeing.
Sometimes we are listening but not hearing.
Sometimes we are touching but not feeling.

I endeavor to slow down - to look, listen and feel the space around me. Things can be really, really different when you receive them with your senses completely open. Have you ever really looked at someone you've known for years and suddenly seen a different person?

My 24-hour bus-ride to Puerto Madryn tomorrow will surely give my knee some much needed rest and no doubt it will be well again soon, but when it is back to battle-speed I will make sure to appreciate the life that passes me rather than passing the life.