Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Climbing Up"


Ah! If only I could describe to you the joy of the Kazakhstan mountains. Today we spent the day hiking and playing in the snow. Today we climbed above the clouds and unleashed our playful spirits. The mountains here in Almaty are much like Colorado. They are huge mountains that stare majestically at the crowded city, except you cannot usually see them from the city because of treacherous smog. As we climbed higher and higher on the gorgeous, pure white, snow-covered paths, the view just became more and more breath-taking. As we reached a certain point it looked as though a gray ocean was washing up against the glorious snow-capped mountains that stood beneath us. It was then that I realized that gray ocean was covering the city in which I currently reside. That gray ocean was actually pollution-saturated smog that hovered over Almaty. That gray ocean is the source of my every breath during the week. I realized that I was breathing fresh air for the first time in over 2 weeks. The fresh air was delicious. Americans don’t realize just how clean and green our country is. I’ve been to some big cities like L.A. and Chicago and the air there is pure oxygen compared to Almaty. I realized that even if America went totally “green” it wouldn’t do much because a great deal of the rest of the world is pouring out thick, black pollution. Just thinking...

Anyways, the mountains were amazing. The hike up was a bit difficult and strenuous, and our final destination was cold. It was actually cold the whole time, but we were moving the whole time so I was actually hot and ripping off my layers. The way down though, was a blast. We ran and slid on our feet. We rolled down the steep hills and pushed each other on discarded pieces of plastic. It was so much fun, but after being so crazy, I ended up with snow all over my body, which then melted, which then meant I was completely wet and thus cold. This was the case for quite awhile seeing as we had a prayer meeting to attend right when we got down. It was an amazing day and an incredible night even though I was freezing and had to deal with wet clothes hanging from my body. When I got back to the apartment (which was another adventure in and of itself. Let’s just say it involved a taxi, walking past a bunch of shady business like normal, a crying woman on the sidewalk, and a big group of troublesome looking guys in our neighborhood. I value my life here and am constantly asking and thanking God for His protection. I don’t take it for granted.) I took a wonderful hot shower and got into some dry clothes. I then got to video chat with my whole family (mother, father, brothers), which meant so much to me because I haven’t been able to do that since I’ve arrived here. Now, I sit here writing this trying not to pass out. It’s been a long day, but an absolutely amazing day. I have to work tomorrow, but luckily not until 5. I feel refreshed tonight. A feeling I have not felt in a long time.

I’ll leave you with this tonight: If you’re life seems to be full of pollution, if you have to fight with every breath you take, then climb up. There you will find that the suffocating pollution will just look like a beautiful ocean that fails to penetrate the majestic mountains beneath you. When you “climb up” you will find fresh air and although you may not understand it all, or have the strength to respond to it, you can revel in the beauty of the pure, white snow and the tall, magnificent trees. You can get in touch with your childlike impulses and just simply have fun. “Up” is where you truly feel alive.

1 comment:

  1. oh kyle...this ending reminds me of a ShareHim sermon!