The morning after I saw the rainbow, I awoke before sunrise.
I had gone to bed early—around eight— so this wasn’t much of a surprise.
I was still shaken from my experience the day before; filled with a sense of satisfaction. I rose quietly, doing my best to let Saffron sleep. I ventured outside to relieve myself. The only toilet was occupied, so I walked a little ways off the property, and peed on the trail. It felt good; felt refreshing in the chill morning air.
I walked back to the lodge as the morning sky was beginning to fill with light. It was a clear, brisk morning. The valley was beautiful, quiet and peaceful. You could see for miles. Far off, in the distance, the distinctive silhouette of of the Fishtail poked out of the horizon. Although the real name is Machupuchre, the mountain has acquired the English nickname “Fishtail” because of its obvious resemblance, from certain angles, to a fish’s tail.
It looked impossibly far-off this morning, even though Anker had promised we’d be at its foot in just two days.
A few solitary figures were out on the lawn in the pre-dawn chill. The grass was wet with dew, and a light mist hung in the air. It was quiet.
I sat down on a stone bench under the prayer flags. I stared off to the horizon.
Sunbeams were starting to creep over the mountains on the horizon—long, diagonal lines leading to the sky.
Even the morning after, this place held a special magic. I sat and watched as the sun crept over the horizon. Soon, it emerged: a blazing orange ball, burning off all the mist that still hung in the air between there and there. I snapped some pictures; shot some video. I would want to remember this place, I knew.
The magic light lasted for a while, soft oranges and clearly-defined sunbeams bathing the valley in an otherworldly glow. When the sun found me, I was filled with a wonderful warmth. I had this strange sensation that the mountains were hugging me.
The morning was calm, and I felt good.
As the sun crept higher, more people began stirring, and soon the magic morning was nothing more than another clear Himalayan day. I lingered a little longer on the lawn, then went to claim my breakfast.
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