When I climbed Machu Picchu, I accomplished two goals, although perhaps one was not as planned. This is my story of that fateful climb.
Step by step, breath by breath, slowly I climb to the summit of Machu Picchu, an ambition from childhood, never thought to be realized in my 70th year of life. Cautiously climbing higher and higher, steeper and steeper, the desire to reach the top builds within me.
However, I do have a second ambition that I hope to accomplish when I reach the top and embrace the majesty of an ancient civilization uncovered by an American archeologist in 1911. That ambition was to use 21st-century technology to video chat with my grandchildren and plant the seeds of adventurous travel into the hearts and minds of a four and six-year old.
My enthusiasm was dampened multiple times with remarks that I was surely going to be disappointed and no communication would be possible once I reached the summit. I refused to accept that, and as I reached the top, I grabbed my phone and “voila!”, my Whatsapp call went through and there they were, eating ice pops and excited to see Grandma. As my excitement escalated, their excitement dissipated—they called out, “Don’t fall, Grandma!” Feeling so elated with the spectacular views of this Inca Citadel combined with the cherubic faces of my own legacy, I was caught in the capsule of a single moment in my lifetime.
It was only when I returned home that I discovered that I had caused nightmares every night that Grandma was going to fall off the mountain and never come home. Hmm…. Perhaps I should seriously rethink my ambitions going forward.