What I’m writing about marked a pivotal point of my life back in October/November. Three days, three different quests for the four elements to be tamed. A spark in the night with ndotl at my side.
No pictures, no tracks, only the tale told. Just let the background music engulf you (you will find it following along) and I will lead you in the unknown.
The first to be tamed was the fire, back in October. A swift decision for a nightly hike, our first one. I never really delved outside in the dark: it always scared me away, I didn’t feel part of it. ndotl asked me for a special place for our nightly exploration: there’s a little volcano nearby where I live and it felt the perfect place! Technically it’s a burning methane source, but everybody refers to it as a volcano.
Parked our car in the nearby Villagio di Monte Busca and we head west. We have headlamps but the moon is shining, there’s no need for other lights. It’s hard in the beginning, we are not used anymore to the darkness: in a matter of minutes I can see way more details than I thought I would be able to. The wind blows fiercely, while we head to Monte Prevecchio: happiness is in our heart, but some houses arise in the distance. We have no way to know if there are dogs free outside (a common thing in our hills) and, since it’s probably 3AM, we don’t want to risk.
Time to backtrack to where we started, back to our roots, back in our souls. We now aim for the volcano, the fire, the flame. Time to rekindle our souls. We bypass an abandoned house and we can see it in front of us.
We stand by the never ending fire, warmed by it.
There’s nothing more to say, time to get home. In the car the happiness in uncontrollable. We are not able to describe what we felt, what the flame meant.
The very next day we are still ecstatic. We don’t want to lose this sensation. Time for something real. Night again, but in the real woods, where nobody lives. It’s water time.
The starting point is a bit farther, San Benedetto in Alpe. We park amidst the night, with clouds covering the moon. We unfortunately need our headlamps this time. And a lot more courage than before.
Amidst the wood, along the raging creek, every sound means danger for me, every noise, every shadow. It’s full of frogs and snails on the way, like guardians on the trail, watching us closely. We surely sound clumsy to them, breathing heavily and stomping our feet. Abandoned houses, which I usually love, are the most scaring thing this time. Who will come out from there? Who will attack us? Is there anybody ready to harm us?
We finally reach the waterfall, our initial objective. The rage of the creek is now a thunder. People use to say that Nature is silent: believe me, it’s not. It’s just that we usually speak louder than her. When you are in complete silence she’s yelling. And at the end the Moon bless us. The clouds are uncovered and we can see her, she approves. We are now part of the woods, for tonight at least.
Going back is now more similar to a dance. We are running but not really running. We are amalgamated to the woods. Even the creek has a gentler word for us now. I can’t exactly recall of it happening, it was probably just a dream, but in a matter of minutes we are out of the woods. How did we get there? I don’t know. I don’t want to know. A deer waves us goodbye while running away from the creek. And two more farewell us when we are already in the car.
We are alive.
We are the night.
Nearly a month passes and we are ready for the two missing elements, earth and air. We want also to enjoy the sunrise, we are ready now. We head for Passo Valbura this time. And in the depth of the darkness we head along the way. We don’t really know where we are going, I want only to reach a nearby peak, where to enjoy the view. The wind is stronger then ever, barely able to stand still. We are slow but steady, we will never surrender, we will never stop, like wild animals in the woods.
After a long but simple way a trail rise on the right to lead us to the top of the mountain. We begin tasting the terrain, to decide where to stop. We savior the earth, we can smell it. We find a nice spot and we cook our breakfast, while the sun finally rise and welcome us.
Fuck the television, this is what I want to see. The circle is complete now. There’s always a light at the end of the darkness if you can wait patiently.
I want it to be in a moment like this
This is what life means to me
And it’s more real then ever.
From this moment on everything will be different. I don’t know what I have to strife for, but I’m happy in the mountains, in the woods, in the nature.
Nothing else matters now.
No more excuses.
No more half measures.
Thank you for following until here, I know this post is VERY different in term of content and style, but there where things I wanted to throw out. You will see that the “madness” in how and where I hike increases as times goes on (at least for my past standard), but most of the posts will be as always, with GPX, tracks and more pictures 🙂