The first time I attempted to climb up the Mt. Christoffel, in 2016, I didn`t make it. First of all, I wasn`t as fit as I am today, mentally and physically. I was still in mourning after the loss of my husband, was new on Curacao, my life had changed dramatically, I was not as strong as I am now. I made it three quarters of the way and my legs would not carry me anymore. I told the little group I was with to please keep going, I would rest at the spot until fit enough to go down again and wait at the bottom of the mountain for their return. Man, did I feel bad at that moment! After all were out of sight, I really broke down, started crying uncontrollably, mainly because I had used up every single amount of energy I had at that moment, and of course feeling a little ashamed that I couldn`t even make it up a 372 meter mountain!
Looking back, that breakdown made me alot stronger mentally. I was sitting there on a rock, more than halfway up a mountain, totally exhausted. Not only from the climb, but also for trying to be strong all the time, not showing my pain inside, as always wanting to be `Happy Lucy`. That was truly a moment of reflection. Of course I was disappointed about not making it, but I was forced to sit down and reflect on myself. When the tears stopped flowing, I stayed where I was, on that rock, way up high with a magnificent view, and thought hard about my life and how I was handling it.
I had left my kids and grandkids behind in Holland, ventured to Curacao all by myself, with no possessions at all, no money in the bank, pushing away my grief by making new experiences. I had started a job I had never done before, but enjoying it and doing it well. Besides missing my kids and my husband, I was actually doing ok. Curacao is such a beautiful island, I made the right choice. The tears I had just shed, were long overdue, and oh so necessary! As if a weight was lifted from my shoulders and I was given the sign, that it was time to move on. For the first time in my life, I felt a proudness about myself, my choices, me.
I slowly started descending until I got to the bottom of the mountain, and sat at a picnic table on the parking lot to wait for my group. Feeling strong! Staring up at the mountain top, wondering what in the lords name had just happened to me.
In my former days, back in Holland, I would`ve just accepted the fact, that the mountain was too high, or too tough for me to climb. But the `new` Lucy was challenged! I tried it a second time, maybe 6 months later, and made it! At the summit, I got a little emotional again, but this time for totally different reasons. I was a survivor! I pushed my limits and made it! Happy, proud and yes.... also tired, I got this trance-like feeling over me.
Since then, Mt. Christoffel seems to call me back. In Banda Bou, you see the top of the mountain nearly everywhere, and I cannot resist to stare at it. Today I went up again, with a lovely couple, for the third succesfull time, and again, this trance-like feeling came over me while driving home. I realized I am REALLY happy now, not putting on a show, but being who I want to be. Mt. Christoffel is special to me, I feel like it has healed me. Set me free. So every now and then, I am going to climb again. And every time I climb it, I feel better about myself. Isn`t that strange?