I met this woman in Ladakh, a region in the Himalayas in northwestern India. She is metaphorically perched atop the world, standing at elevations reaching 15,000 feet. She and her friends in the village caused me to think about standing on Earth’s “rooftop” and lifting our faces—and voices pealing with laughter—to the infinite sky above.
Since I was unable to understand their language, it remained a mystery what in their conversation caused the women—and I with them—to launch into that kind of infectious guttural laughter that continues so long you can’t remember its origins. Words held no significance in that moment. The playfulness, exuberant energy, and camaraderie brought to mind the word, “exaltation.” The moment was spiritual and a genuine, shared declaration of joy in being alive.
Whether you align with science or Western religion or Eastern practices of worship or are agonistic, whether you experience it in galaxies, solitude, prayer, meditation or a group of voices expressing the harmony of hymns or chanting or breath, I so hope everyone on the planet has experienced the freedom of exaltation. Relish in delight, raise the roof, exhale deeply, and allow yourself to exalt. Today is as good a time as was yesterday and is the precursor to tomorrow. Laugh in the now.