I was exhausted, the four hours walk to the pond in the middle of an uninhabited jungle had been difficult, but nothing compared to the way back.
Climbing back to the top of that valley was a daunting task for me, I was not very used to walk for so many hours in the outdoors, and the Sun was really at its peak hour, so I was really wishing to get back to the car and drive back home.
I had to take little rests from time to time and the closer to the top I got, the more frequent stops I made.
When I was about to reach the last tract, I was making my best effort to pull my body up when all I could see were a pair of perfectly polished shoes in front of my eyes. My stunned eyes kept going upwards just to observe very well ironed beige trousers, a white shirt and a smiling face who greeted me with a cheerful voice: “Did you enjoy the trip?”, he said.
I was amazed to see this men in a place where nobody passed very often and especially dressed in that way.
“Yes…” was all I could answered with a gasping voice.
“And the learning…?” He added.
My mind was not ready to “rationalise” what he was saying or who he was, I was really fatigued and all I wanted was getting to the car and catch my breath back.
“It was a long trip” I managed to say after resting a few seconds.
“If I had known how hard this climb was in the first place, I would not have gone that far down this morning.”
He looked at me with a wonderful smile and said: “But you are here now, just look at the long journey you have done so far, do not pay attention at what is left to climb, you are almost there. Just keep focused on the next step.”
I stood up once more, and said good bye to this man. A couple of minutes after continuing my walk back to the car, I turned around to see if that strange man was still there, and yes, there he was waving at me with his nice smile.
At that moment, I thought it was really weird to see a man dressed in such clean garments and with perfectly polished shoes in the middle of that valley, so I turned my head once more, but the man was gone.
On my way back home, I thought that the man was right, if we knew in advance of the distances and difficulties we are going to face in our journey, we probably would not take the first step, but if you look at where you are now and look back to see all the distance you have already advanced, all the “obstacles” you have overcome and all the things you have learnt, your soul feels grateful and blessed.
We cannot know what lies ahead for us, but we can expect that with our new strength and acquired wisdom things will be better. At least we now know how to respond to different situations, thanks to those “accidents” we have met on the road.
By the way, in a later trip to that place, I asked to the locals about that man I met there that day. They said that the only person fitting that description had passed away ten years ago, so probably he was someone else, or I just had an encounter with someone who wanted to leave an important life lesson, from the other side.