Eastern skies were brightening up, wind was blowing hard. We were in luck as there were hardly any clouds in that direction. The tricky part of climbing all the way to watch sunrise or sunset is one small ill-positioned cloud can play the spoil sport. But the Universe was conspiring to show us the sunrise. It was very cold and blowing wind made it seem colder that what it was, so much so that it was difficult to take off gloves to click pictures or video. After initial hesitation, I flicked the gloves off and started taking pictures. After all, that was the reason, I had climbed 1,773 meter.
Cloud formations were striking, blowing wind was changing their shapes every few minutes. The sun was rising behind the horizon, it was apparent from changing colours of clouds. My vocabulary is too limited to do justice to describe colour palette that changed every moment from dark to black to grey to shades of pink to shades of orange till finally it became light. As the light went up the landscape started getting clearer. There were magical moments that unfolded in front of our eyes as the landscape turned from 2D to 3D. The contours became clearer, the crescent shaped Kawaguchi lake separated itself from the dark background. The mountain range on the right was struggling to contain all the clouds which were trying to escape to the left and engulf the view.
The magical moment came when the orange sphere appeared on the horizon. There was a loud cheer and sporadic claps, cameras clicked non-stop. Only when the Sun appeared on the horizon, we realised how fast the earth was moving. We could watch the sun only for a few seconds before it became it became so bright that we had to look away.
We had toiled for it for last 10-12 hours and it lasted only for a few minutes. But it filled our hearts with joy and sense of fulfilment. The images we saw were imprinted on our minds. We took a lot of pictures but those could capture only minuscule version of what we saw. The images we carry in our minds can’t be replicated on any medium and the air that we breathed smelt different. Just as the sun appeared in the sky, wind slowed down, there was welcome warmth in the air. There were smiles all around. Tiredness had evaporated. Sense of accomplishment filled our hearts.
We went around to take a look at the crater. It was huge, appeared bottomless from where we were standing. We were in awe with nature’s brute force which would have caused this eruption.
I hear a popular phrase - he conquered so and so mountain or so and so peak. I don’t really agree with this phrase at all. Peaks, mountains and nature in general is not really conquerable. It is not meant to be conquered at all. We are too inconsequential to make such preposterous claims. The only feelings I carry back from treks are gratitude, humility and feeling of oneness with the world.
Destination was achieved but journey wasn’t over. We slowly climbed back to our refuge without speaking a word.
Cosmic peace had filled our minds.