The Mountains Win Again

…can you hear ‘Blues Traveler’ in your head? You should; they’re one of the greatest bands ever!

There’s something about the mountains that I love. My inner being breathes deeply upon seeing them. When I’m able to hike amongst them, my body relaxes. I am a better person when I’m around the mountains.

Now, I do need to set the record straight on this. I’m a romantic when it comes the mountains, and I will acknowledge that. I’ve never lived in the mountains in the dead of winter. I’ve never dealt with the tourists, because I’ve always been the tourist. I understand that the mountains can be just as harsh and unforgiving, as beautiful and nourishing.

I don’t have to summit every peak, or rock climb, or mountain bike. I just like walking amongst them. I feel closer to the sacred when I’m in the mountains. Maybe it’s being removed from suburbia, the masses, the schedules. I like the pace of life when I’m hiking in the mountains. I’m not worrying about job performance, social pressures, or general malaise. I’m walking, breathing, maybe talking with friends, and simply being. There’s nothing I rather do at this moment in my life.

I like the people that live near mountains. I like meeting folks who rather go hiking than go to the bar. I like people who know how to care for themselves. And for some reason, people seem to think more openly life in general, and there’s always a good conversation waiting to take place (yes, I know it’s a gross stereotype).

I’m really sad that I didn’t make it out to the Rockies this year (the Rockies have always held a special place over any other location). However, I will be traveling to Austin & Albuquerque this fall and winter to alleviate some of the longing for the West. Every place has its natural beauty. The sad fact, however, is that much of the natural beauty is covered up, or erased entirely, but our daily conveniences: highways, mining, shopping plazas, and gated communities to name a few. And doesn’t it drive you MAD to know that most homes in the mountains are ‘vacation’ homes?! Anyways…

In the midst of the hot, humid Florida days here in August, I appreciate the beach…but I love those mountains. Sometimes even though you can’t be near the person or thing you would love to be with, it’s just nice to think about it a little, and appreciate it for what it is.

A lot of people have images of what heaven may be like. While I don’t believe that we’ll be in a ‘place,’ I do like to share in the stories and mythology of our faith tradition. And I would like to picture my eternal life spending beautiful sunny days strolling through mountain meadows, looking out to lake-filled valleys, walking upon soft, sweet smelling earth, listening to the songs of creation, and gazing upon mountainous peaks that seats the throne of our great Creator.


One comment

  1. you always put a smile on my heart, and on my face too. I long for the mountians (I feel like Bilbo telling Gandolf “Mountains! Mountians!”), and for the calm beauty I know exists around (some of) them. Ohio has few hills to speak of, let alone mountians-and my heart grieves to see some. Going through the Blue Ridge in a few weeks for a weekend getaway to VA…hopefully I get a moment to do a mountain walkabout like you describe!


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