Surrounded by the majestic Himalayas, we have carved our homes out of the mountains, earning a living by supporting those who trek to Everest Base Camp. As I reflect on the impacts humans continue to make on our plant, I can’t help but glance down upon my village and notice the impact that we all make, even when we seek to minimize it. I feel fortunate that I have the beauty of the natural world at my door.
Humans have learned to adapt the environment and many of the animals that live there to ensure our own survival. To sustain us, we have learned to change the landscape to grow the crops we need to survive. The Yak is perfectly adapted to live in the high altitudes of the Himalayas, and humans have learned to work with this hearty animal to help us to thrive here as well, both to transport supplies up the mountain and to provide milk and butter. I find the regular clanging of the yak bells soothing and reassuring.
It has been fascinating learning about the way life adapts to all kinds of natural changes. When I first started this chapter I was expecting the kind of drastic changes that major events such as storms, earth quakes, volcanos bring. But I suppose I hadn’t considered that we all live in a constant state of change. Many of these changes come in cycles and the variation on the length of the cycles can be a major determining factor in how well we deal with the change. From the looks of it, winter is nearly over, and this frost will soon give way to another cycle of warmer days and the monsoon rains that bring the wildflowers.
At the top of the world, a river of ice flows down Mt Everest towards Base Camp and then as it melts, it changes form and continues across a continent before reaching the sea. In its path are countless lives that depend on this water to sustain them. Trekkers navigate a part of the Khumbu glacier on their way to experience the world from 5,364 m (17,598 ft) and most find the journey helps them to renew or uncover the purpose they would like to dedicate themselves to. From this altitude it is easy to feel connected to all of them through this river.