Why Mountains?

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I’ve been asking myself, why am I drawn to mountains?  Why do I get the whole “spiritual” vibe when I’m on a mountain?  Enough so, that less than a week ago I moved to Idaho to be surrounded by them?  The Eastern spiritual “capital” of the world, Tibet, is high in the mountains; and others have maintained monasteries in the Himalayas for centuries.  People have always sought the solitude of the hills.  What draws people there?  What draws me there?

Mountains are old geologic structures; monolithic, huge and beautiful.  They don’t change, at least, not in our lifetime.  They’re always there, solid, silent, looking down at us.  I like that.  I like knowing that some things, in my lifetime, will be unchanging and present.  They can absorb whatever nature throws at them, with equanimity and peace.  And, I guess this is it, they can take whatever we as individuals throw at them too.  Nothing like a long hike to clear one’s head, calm one’s soul, put our lives in perspective compared to these structures.

So we hike, we bike, we climb and we crawl, all over the nearest mountain we can find.  We let the bad flow out of our heads, let the mountain take care of it.  The mountain draws the pain and suffering and worry from us, even when we want to hold onto it.  Maybe that’s it:  the mountains comfort us, they condole us, they give us solace and peace, they let us heal.  They give us a place to go that will always be there, when all other places have left us.  Maybe that’s “why mountains?”

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