As I hiked closer and closer to legendary Cerro Torre I was overcome with emotion around how lucky I was to be there and how grateful I am for the people that helped make it possible. I've met many Europeans whose discussion of Syrian refugees helps me understand the fortune, good or bad, that is bestowed upon us by something as fundamental and out of our control as our birthplace. For those refugees, it will likely be generations before any of their descendants have the opportunity to travel to a place like Patagonia. For me, I'm benefiting from the fact that my grandparents and great-grandparents endured the struggle of emigration decades ago. For this I am extremely grateful.
I am also grateful for the rest of my family, friends and mentors who each helped guide my development in their own way, whether they are actually proud of the results or not. As a race we are still figuring out parenting, but each generation does a little better than the prior. My parents did their best and I wish I would have been able to learn more before they died about their experience of parenting.
The hike to Cerro Torre was magical. It is only about 6 miles from the town of El Chalten, Argentina and is accessible for almost all hikers on a moderately easy trail. The spire is visible from town and beckons one closer. It is also visible for much of the hike, enriching the whole experience by lengthening the wonder.
I have much to be thankful for.