Paperback: 256 pages

Publisher: Eye Books (1 April 2014)

ISBN-13: 978-1903070895

Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 1.8 cm

Touch the Sky

Tess Burrows

£9.99

Is passion alone enough to make something happen?

Touch the Sky recounts the experience of Tess Burrows climb to the summit of Africa s highest mountain. This gutsy and compassionate grandmother has spent more than a decade pushing herself to incredible limits to fulfil her dream. She has climbed the world s highest summits and trekked to both the North and the South Poles to call out thousands of peace messages she collected from every nation on earth. On this latest journey, we share in Tess s experiences of the vibrancy and colours of Africa and its people. And ultimately, in the challenges of her climb. A climb, where as a metaphor for people to pull together, she pulls a tyre packed with peace messages, up the famed summit of Africa s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro. More than 60 per cent of people who try fail will she?

Extracts

And then I saw the vision. It’s the warrior cloak. Bright red. As red as the sky that we had seen. It gently touches me on the shoulders and enfolds me. That was when the strength came.

And I knew…

I knew I had inner warrior strength. The vision of the warrior cloak wrapped around me was a cloak of courage. All the strength I needed was within me. This was my lesson. I exhaled the tension. My shoulders went down and back. I felt my heart open. This was my gift from the mountain.

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Extracts

And then I saw the vision. It’s the warrior cloak. Bright red. As red as the sky that we had seen. It gently touches me on the shoulders and enfolds me. That was when the strength came.

And I knew…

I knew I had inner warrior strength. The vision of the warrior cloak wrapped around me was a cloak of courage. All the strength I needed was within me. This was my lesson. I exhaled the tension. My shoulders went down and back. I felt my heart open. This was my gift from the mountain.

Also in the rucksack was the summit bag in which I’d made sure was a small object to represent each of our other five points of the star: an Inuit inuksuk from the North Pole zone; a Mount Kailas pebble from Tibet; a picture of the goddess Pele on Mauna Kea from the Pacific – all carried in a llama wool wallet from the Andes. I added a picture of the Dalai Lama, the embodiment of compassion; my granddaughter’s two little stones; and a little wooden bracelet representing the circle of life. Everything one could possibly need for an adventure.

“Did you bring any toothpaste?” Pete asked on the plane.

“No, sorry,” I replied. Well, you can’t think of everything.

At dinner the mood started off tense. Everyone was particularly hungry for the fresh oranges and watermelon that had been laboriously carried up the mountain. The light of the Peace Flame and the two candles cast uneasy shadows on the sides of the tent. We were all focused on what tomorrow might bring and on that unspoken question: would we actually make it to the summit? At times like these a life distraction can be useful. Pete was pleased he’d managed to say happy birthday to his daughter Anna on the satellite phone. Here he’d found a really exciting message for Nicholas, who, not wanting to be outdone by a granny, had previously declared that he was about to have a grandchild, too.

quotes

“This book by Tess Burrows describes her latest challenge: for peace and harmony across the planet.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

“The spirit of adventure doesn’t get much tougher than this.” 

Ben Fogle

reviews

A true story from by courageous woman wishing to spread the message of peace to the world. A worthy sequel to her previous books.

For anyone wanting to know the difference between the words “childish” and “childlike”, read this book. Tess’s love of life, of humanity, of our precious planet shines through on every page of this extraordinary book. Anyone can say they wish for peace (I hope they do) but how many people ever do anything tangible to promote these wishes? The cynic might question the point, even the sanity, of pushing oneself to the limits of physical endurance in the name of peace, but it is a powerful image: a 60 plus grandmother pulling a tyre packed with peace messages up a mountain that would make the average twenty-year-old puff like a good ‘un.

A cracking story, written in the most accessible style that makes you reflect, and resolve to banish all but positive thoughts from one’s mind.

Highly recommended to anyone who has ever felt passionate about… anything!

extras

ABOUT

Tess Burrows

Tess Burrows was born in Southern England in 1948 and educated at Bedales School. She gained a degree in Ecological Science from Edinburgh University and moved to Australia to grow trees. In 1984 she returned as the mother of three young boys, with the gentleness of motherhood being paramount. In 1990, hit by the realisation that it is possible to help the Earth and make a difference, she started climbing and using this medium for a number of unusual events raising awareness and funds for charity.

In 1998 she founded Climb For Tibet with her partner Pete. Together they undertook various “peace climbs”, raising over £130,000 for building schools in Tibet for underprivileged children and other humanitarian and environmental projects.

Best-selling author of Cry from The Highest Mountain, peace activist, climbing instructor, healer, motivational speaker and grandmother of four little ones – one of whom was born the same day as Touch the Sky.

Find out more about Tess at tessburrows.org.

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