My Beloved Mountains

How I love mountains around me…

Well, okay, they aren’t mine in the sense that I own them, but they sure feel like they should be mine.

I’m an advocate for mountains, nature’s high rises. Somebody has to do it, after all, and I’m more than happy to speak-up for my towering friends.

Everyone has their favorite places, of course. Many can’t imagine life without the ocean, and it’s best if it’s right outside their door. They adore its vast expanse and soothing waves. You’d think the ocean would be my first love given that most of my childhood was spent on Long Island’s hilly north shore.

For an unknown reason the ocean never took hold in my heart.

Apparently boating was a favorite pastime when my mother was a girl. Too, I vaguely remember my father swimming literal miles while I sat on the beach and either watched or played in the sand.

I didn’t learn to swim until I was eighteen, and that was in a pool.

Yes, across this country, around this planet, there are countless places to reside, to put up your feet and call home: near the ocean, beside a lake, along a river, in the desert, or on the plains.

Adirondacks in Essex County, New York

Adirondacks in Essex County, New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But, oh, my heart longs for where the peaks stand tall.

My love affair with this country’s ranges began with the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York when I was very young. They’re old mountains, beaten down considerably with time and holding more history than I can imagine.

Ancient, mysterious, and beautiful.

Over the years that followed I’ve had the privilege to visit other ranges around the country, some breathtaking, all majestic, and all beautiful.

It’s difficult to define the enchantment, but…

They’re big brothers to stand around me and keep me safe. They’re strong arms to hold me and assure me everything is okay.

The Sunset in Glacier National Park, Montana.

The Sunset in Glacier National Park, Montana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each peak lifts a piece of the sky, holds down the earth upon which it stands, and hides the wonders shielded behind its vast flanks. Sometimes solitary, other times standing shoulder-to-shoulder, always they command attention.

Majestic they are, and at their feet in shrouded valleys await mysteries beyond imagining, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. Thus, they often play a great part in my stories.

Where mountains stand are lakes cradled safe, rivers twisting about their girth, and waterfalls cascading in liquid music. Upon their slopes cluster trees, the nature of each changing with elevation. Nearer their summits sheer walls demand their strength be recognized. It’s there that glaciers might still be found.

Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park (US)

Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park (US) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m humble in their presence, for I recognize their power and magic, a magic stored within that reaches towards the earth’s core. To touch the rock that is a mountain’s soul is to feel the earth’s heartbeat beneath your fingertips.

My beloved mountains await my return and I dream often of their embrace.

6 Replies to “My Beloved Mountains”

  1. I’m a fan of mountains too. (My current work in progress is set in the Cumbrian fells of England.) I’ve always had this belief that your mind and imagination is limited by the space you occupy, which means when you’re on the summit of a mountain, with nothing around you, your mind can expand infinitely. I like being near the sea or on a lake, but nothing beats the sensation of arriving at the top of a mountain.

    • Hi Chris. I’ve been to the summit of a few mountains so I know from experience how apt your statement is in a literal sense, too. I’ve had days when the opposite felt true, when it felt like my mind was contracting and it was difficult to write. Other days I was sure my mind was expanding “infinitely.” Such days writing leave me exhausted—and grateful and smiling. Ah, you speak of the famous Lake District. Beautiful country. Set me beside a lake and I’ll delight while its soothing waves lap at the shore and around me the mountains lift my soul.

  2. Christina I am also drawn to mountains I am not sure why? As a child I lived inland and wished to be by the sea. yet the mountains evoke something mystical within, especially on a foggy morn. I also love the sea but it does not have the same power over me.

    • Oh, Kath, you described it so well. In fact, when writing this post I remembered your move to the mountains. I totally agree with your comparison with the ocean, though I’d like to be able to visit the ocean once in awhile. Currently that’s a 1.5 day drive. If I relocate to Missoula it’ll be less than a day.

      Here in Casper the only mountains are to the south. The only one that’s close is Casper Mountain, which is actually a massive uplift so it looks like a long ridge. Otherwise, wherever I look it’s flat, windy prairie. Yesterday it was below 10℉ (-12℃) and the wind was blowing over 30mph. Sadly, that’s typical. This is a harsh place and a terrible one for someone with a lung condition. Thus, I’m hoping it works out for me to move to Missoula.

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