Oh Father Taita!
Your majestic mightiness
brings me to my knees.

When I am burdened
with the every day mundane,
I gaze heavenward.

And you remind me
of my rightful place here on Earth –
Human free spirit.


Chimborazo is a dormant volcano, the highest mountain in Ecuador, and the highest peak near the equator. At 20,548 ft., its summit is the farthest point on the Earth’s surface from the Earth’s center. The indigenous in Ecuador have dubbed Chimborazo “Taita”, which means father.

I visited Chimborazo recently, along with my partner and a couple of close friends. A guide drove us partway up the mountain to a rest station, which is at about 16,000 ft. We got out of the van to walk around, and we all experienced some dizziness and shortness of breath with very little exertion. (Even our guide, who was younger, fitter and a regular hiker.) I was quite frankly in awe. That is, of the power and majesty of this mountain, and also the fact that a friend climbed from base to summit some years ago. What an accomplishment! Our guide told us that this is one of the most dangerous mountains in the world, and other climbers have perished attempting to conquer it.

As I stood at our rest point and looked up to the summit, my spirit soared. I have experienced this on a few other occasions in my travels. I am lost in the magnitude and grandeur of the space. In that moment, I am simply a human being connected to this beautiful Earth, unencumbered by what I am required to be in our civilization. It’s just the sky, the mountain, and me.

And I am free.


Related blog post: Bereft

Chimborazo © Susan L Hart 2019
Photo courtesy Daviid Marceshagnay, Unsplash