France 2010 047

My dispatches typically are sent from somewhere.

This one is sent from my sixtieth birthday


Nepal.Everest.flight.view - 1

Edmund Hillary, along with his Sherpa partner Tenzing Norgay, was the first to summit Mr Everest. Afterward, he was asked what contributed to his determination to get to the top of the mountain. He replied that when he was young his father had been very strict and believed in harsh discipline. There were many trips to the woodshed and it was always important to his father that Edmund admit that he had been at fault. But he never did. Hillary was proud of the fact that he never admitted wrong-doing, even when it had occurred. He thought that that kind of stubbornness was important in his push to the summit of the world’s highest mountain.


Machapuchare, Himalayan holy mountain

It was a great achievement, enough for most people, but Hillary did not become satisfied or complacent about what to do with the rest of his life. He could have been content with being the first up Mt Everest, but instead he moved on from that and had many other accomplishments. He was always looking ahead, not backward, and devoted much of his time to helping the Sherpa people.

   Hillary recalled that while he stood on the summit of Everest he took a moment to look off towards Makalu, another unclimbed peak at that time and the fifth highest in the world. From that unique vantage he could study the mountain and pick out a route that might be used to climb it someday.  He said, “Everest, for me, was more a beginning than an end.”


    I guess that’s Hillary’s way of stating the maxim that the journey is often more important than the destination, the striving for a goal more fulfilling than the achieving of it.      




     The journey I’ve been thinking about lately is the one that brought me to my 60th birthday. My “life-as-a-journey ” journey.

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