From the recording TIBET Land of My Tears
Billie Woods: Native American Flute
Deborah Schmidt: Classical Guitar
Jeffrey Glenn Tveraas: Percussion
For several weeks before our arrival, Everest Base Camp (EBC) had been closed to all but military personnel due to severe weather. We had no idea if we’d actually get to see the great Mt. Qomolangma (pronounced Choh-moh-lahng-mah — ‘Everest’ in Tibetan), but we had come this far and had high hopes of getting to EBC the following morning.
Most of us had purchased several sets of prayer flags to hang at EBC and were spending the evening writing names of friends and family (including pets) on the flags. There’s something quite sweet about having a little piece of yourself flapping in that cold, high Himalayan wind, and we all felt incredibly honored to be there placing those parts of us and our loved ones at such an iconic location.
The trek into EBC was somewhat challenging, but quite a privilege. The hike felt almost sacred. No one even spoke until we reached the bottom of the hill where a stone monument declared our arrival (in several languages) at “Mt. Qomolangma Base Camp, 5200m”.
It was overwhelmingly exciting to be standing right there, about to make the ascent to the top of the base camp! It is all but impossible to describe what it feels like to be standing on the roof of the world looking at the highest mountain on the planet.
We all took turns hanging our prayer flags. Some in our group left symbolic items representing a part of their lives that they were ready to leave behind. And of course, we all spent some time taking videos and photographs to remind us of this experience.
But primarily, we spent our time sitting or standing and looking out at this most awesome sight. Was it a dream? How could this be real? But the indescribable cold and howling winds made sure that we were as awake as we had ever been.