We escaped the city during the weekend to finally accomplish a must-do of the Blue Mountains: Sweet Dreams. We have been talking about doing it for so long without making concrete plans. One morning I got mad at myself and just put a date on the calendar crossing my fingers for the weather to be good.
If the weather was on our side – not too hot, not too cold and just enough clouds with a cool breeze – unfortunately the timing of life events was not. I was really excited about doing Sweet Dreams but the morning of our adventure my grandfather was also moved into a home for people suffering from Alzheimer’s. Of course, all of those events happened far away in Canada when I was here living my Aussie life. There was nothing I could do or say that would change the reality my family were living with during that weekend and I felt helpless and stuck into my own reality. It was with a lot of emotions that I took the road to Sweet Dreams from our camping site at Perry’s Lookdown. We drove to the start of the trail with me, the phone in one hand trying to catch up on the afternoon I missed during the night – the 16 hours that separate us from Québec are sometimes cruel… I wanted some news on how it went with my mum moving her dad into a small room in a place he wished he would never have to go. I am not sure for whom I was the most sad: my mum, my grandmother or my grandfather now as lost as a child, sadly prisoner of a spotted mind.
Bitter Sweet Dreams
I wish I were in a better state of mind. After getting quickly in touch with my sister and receiving the confirmation that everything went OK with grand-papa, as far as OK can go, we left the car behind and headed to Sweet Dreams. The trail that leads to the wall was fun to walk. There was excitement but more sadness than anything else in my heart and the forest felt like a trustworthy and faithful companion. The view of the Blue Mountains, as always, was majestic and calming.
I tried to focus on the space, the beauty of the mountains and it made me feel quite lucky. Lucky to be there and to know that no matter what happens later on in life I will feel serene; rather than wasting my precious breath I was there at some point living life in the wilderness. This is where climbing deeply touches me; for a brief moment I feel alive on the rock, I fear and love at the same time, I breathe and I am just completely there in the present time. It’s from time to time the perfect balance between body and mind. Memories can be forgotten, it’s not what matters the most here.
3 Black Cockatoos
I am slowly changing. My body is changing, my muscles are slowly taking a more appropriate form for climbing; I am getting the shape of a climber. I never used to feel as comfortable with heights as I do now. On our way to Sweet Dreams I realised how good I feel when I am looking at the world from the sky. I am not afraid of heights anymore – I cherish those moments as much as I can. It does not matter if I am good or not I enjoy climbing because it makes me feel alive. Starting Sweet Dreams was exciting, I was happy to be there doing what I enjoy the most with the man I love.
Just when I got to the 3rd pitch ready to cross the traverse and feel the exposure, three black cockatoos flew over us and I thought about my two sisters. About how I miss them but how I don’t need them to hold my hands to feel their presence. The traverse was magical, a walk in the park with a view. I am glad I led that pitch without feeling a single drop of fear. The traverse was pure joy and I quite liked the exposure of it.
I am not sure what happened in my mind and why I was so calm and not intimidated by the exposure. It simply felt good and I enjoyed being there that weekend. Maybe the level of the climbing was well within my capacities or perhaps my mind was busy focusing on what’s important and not distracted by fear.