Today marks the one year anniversary of the Gorkha earthquake. A year ago, at roughly 11:56am (NST), a major earthquake occurred in Nepal causing extensive damage to historic buildings and temples. It left thousands dead, and hundreds of thousands homeless with entire villages flattened. Avalanches were triggered killing many mountaineers; specifically those at Everest Base Camp (EBC), making it the deadliest day in mountain history.
During this time, I was trekking the Annapurna Circuit Trail (ACT) alone in the Himalaya’s. Being violently shook by something you have no control over and in an isolated place certainly puts you in a vulnerable state; however, what I – and many others – gained because of this ‘disastrous’ event was truly divine.
Trekking ACT 2 days after the earthquake (April 2015).
In life, we inevitably face situations that are beyond our ability and control, and how we choose to see these situations and let them affect us determines how we move forward in life.
By changing this disaster into a ‘divine storm’ what I saw and witnessed was not hopelessness, but opportunity. When you change your thoughts you change the experience which ultimately changes your life!
So many divine miracles have occurred because of this event; team work, community national development, education, personal growth, etc. Although a year later the remnants of the earthquake still remain, what I see when I pass a cracked stupa or a flattened home is not sadness, but resilience – a strong, compassionate community of people working to not simply rebuild, but redefine what’s now possible and available for themselves, their family, and their country.
We should always honour the fact that ‘anything can happen’ at any time in this world. And when we direct our focus to the opportunities which can come or be created because of these ‘happenings’, we see the potential in all.
With every ending comes a new beginning, and if we view hardship – of any kind – constructively and see its benefits, it can bring a person, a country or a nation great strength and fortitude.
I believe every moment and every experience in life is purposeful, and serves as a contribution to our divine path. If everyone acknowledges this, then these qualities of sadness, judgement and failure, and this notion of ‘disaster’ would cease to exist as we would live knowing life is always – at all times – unraveling in perfect order.
While today we remember who and what we lost, let’s remember to honour all the divine miracles we gained from this ‘disaster’.
As as expat living in Nepal, I can assure travelers that Nepal is stable and safe to visit and trek. Do come and celebrate our growth and development with us, you are most welcome! Namaste.
Trekking to ABC in September 2015.
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