Since childhood, I have this weird habit of doing what I am afraid of. In this way, I overcame my fear of crossing bridges, riding a bicycle, and using elevators when I was still 5. That is how I proved myself that there was nothing in this world worth to be scared of. I have changed during the years, but my childhood habit hasn’t. I still keep trying every single thing, which seems extreme, adventurous, and somehow scary to me. There was a period in my life when I had acrophobia (an irrational fear of heights), thus, I decided to go hiking in the mountains.
Indeed, my parents were against my decision, as along with the willingness to overcome my fear I should have had adequate physical and mental preparation, be used to sleeping in tents, and get along with not that “fancy” meals (cheese, bread, and apples only for several days) during the hike. Finally, I got my parents’ approval, and this was how my “career” as a hiker started. I went hiking for at least two-three times a year. I did not cease hiking even after overcoming my phobia of heights. Hiking was challenging, fun, and strengthened me as a personality. Undoubtedly, I faced both mental and physical difficulties, started crying, and wished I was at home watching TV or reading a book.
I regretted hiking after freezing sleepless nights, exhausted evenings, or sultry afternoons when being burnt under the sun. I regretted my decision when being under the pressure of my backpack, weighing almost as much, as I did. I regretted hiking when the symptoms of my allergy showed up. I regretted hiking whenever I realized I am not cold-resistant at all. However, I continued to make this “mistake” over and over whenever having the chance. There was no doubt: I enjoyed hiking. Over time it became one of the few things I am passionate about. I often separate my life into stages: before and after hiking. Hiking made me conscious of my weaknesses and strengths by providing a ground not to cease raising.
Last summer I was hiking with some friends in the Gegham mountains. It was the first time in my life I spent three days in the mountains. I was sure it would be amusing, far from noisy people and urban mess, which I wanted to avoid so much. I wished hike would make me feel more harmonious with myself, as during the whole summer, I worked with an extremely overloaded schedule without any leisure time to spend with family or friends. I was ready for almost everything. Almost. While the unexpected happened.
The first two days of our hike passed as quickly that I do not remember anything except me collecting wildflowers and enjoying the view. However, the flaw of events changed drastically, and we had to set up the tents earlier than we planned. My shoes were not holding up, and I could hardly keep walking. I got some severe foot injuries. I felt like it was the last day I could stand on my feet. I started imagining what I could and could not do if I was not able to walk anymore. I could not dance. I could not run under the autumn rain and jump at my favorite people when seeing them after long breaks. I started crying. With these thoughts in my mind, I swallowed some painkillers and sleeping pills without water (as all my bottles were empty) and fell asleep.
I was almost asleep but could hear how the girl I was sharing the tent with was chewing the last pieces of apple we had and drinking something (it was probably the yellowish lake water she filled her bottles with). After a few minutes, I was not feeling anything. Later on, some beats of hard rock music surrounded me. First, I thought that one of my favorite metal bands, Slipknot, was playing through my headphones. There was so much drive and energy in each drum beat. The beats started to become more and more frequent and intense. A few seconds later, I felt myself in the pool calmly swimming on my back. On the other hand, maybe it was not a pool. It was a flood. Everyone was in chaos, and Noah was trying to gather examples of all the species of animals and plants. But I was calmly swimming at the bottom of the flood. I knew that “God would save me” (I am a strict atheist).
Suddenly I heard a feminine voice crying. “Anush, our tent is leaking. I am so afraid of thunderstorms. Please, do something!” she screamed.
I opened my eyes. Britney, my tent mate, was crying and yelling hysterically, while both our backpacks and sleeping bags were all in water. “What’s going on, jan? Where are the other guys?” I asked in a supportive voice. “I have no clue. Their tent was next to ours. But I can’t find the tent. Maybe the storm blew the tents away?” Britney answered stressfully.
I was shocked. Was that a horror movie I was a part of? Anyway, we had to concentrate and do something with the leaking water. My feet, back, and hair was all in water. I took all of my clothes from my backpack and soaked at the edges of the tent. The ceiling of the tent was leaking harshly too. I tried to put one of my hands with a dry jacket under the hole in the ceiling by simultaneously cleaning the water collected at the edges of tents. Britney and I were doing our best to keep the sleeping bags as dry as possible. Both of us started coughing. And I started laughing hysterically when remembered my dream and the associations of our tent with Noah’s ark. “God will save us,” I said. Britney was also an atheist, and we started laughing together.
When the rainy storm finally ended, I fell asleep from exhaustion immediately.
The next morning was the exact depiction of a gorgeous view after the flood portrayed in the Bible. I couldn’t help staring at the sky and wondering about how incredibly stunning nature is. When I came back into the stage of consciousness, I found out that the tents of others did not disappear. The guys just noticed that the location of their tents was windy and moved a few miles away from us.
Unfortunately, even after this incident, I did not start to believe in miracles others created for me.
But, fortunately, I realized that we create our own miracles and experience them every single minute of our existence.
The combination of miracles we create is life itself.