How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! ~John Muir
From age 9 until last year at age 28 I lived on the east coast. There were beautiful seasons, colorful foliage, thick forests, and rugged mountains. There were also wild, jagged beaches and I was personally much more drawn to the beaches. Despite living right at the base of beautiful Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, I didn't feel much urge to go and explore the surrounding forests and mountains.
Here on the west coast, though, back in the San Diego area where I am originally from, it's a whole different feeling. The mountains are huge, dramatic, covered with a variety of plants and giant boulders that seem to have been arranged just so. It's hot and dusty, but I am a sun lover, and the mountains seem to rise up in front of me and tempt me with the ability to carry me closer to its baking rays. The Man chuckled when I told him this and said that I reminded him of Icarus with his wax wings, trying to fly too close to the sun. No, I said, I'm not trying to construct something small and weak, the mountains are right there and we only need to follow their paths. Little trails and roads spiral up and down and through and around the mountains every which way, and some primal part of me just wants to walk off into the dust and the heat and go where the trails lead me.
Granted, we've been reading "The Hobbit" with Bug for the past couple of weeks, so I'm already imagining dwarves and elves around every corner and adventures lurking. Sometimes when I walk our dog in the morning there is still a thick layer of fog surrounding the closest peaks, and I start to hum the Misty Mountains song to myself, picturing their little adventuring party walking along steep, sharply curving paths. But the truth is this love I have for the local mountains goes deeper than a fantasy inspired by reading a much loved book.
When I walk or drive around and look at these massive peaks around us, sometimes covered in snow even on a day when I'm wearing shorts and a tee-shirt, I feel tiny. I feel like a little piece of the big picture. These enormous rolling hills stand in the distance like constant reminders of the relationship we really have with the world around us, a reminder that we really are rather small and our problems really are rather insignificant in the real big picture. It's hard to remember my gripes and frustrations when I allow myself to pause and take in the whole scene. The mountains stand there stoically, for years upon decades upon centuries, except for when the fault lines shift and the earth moves - which, yet again, is another reminder of how small we all are in the face of nature.
I'm a very spiritual person, and I've actively been trying to get back in touch with that part of me that "senses" things and "hears" things and "feels" things, if you know what I mean. Some might say Magical, some might say Spiritual, some might say simply Sensitive. When I am surrounded by nature in this part of California, I feel like I am spiritually Home. Looking at the scenery here, feeling the environment around me, experiencing the surrounding energy, makes me feel strongly that I am where I'm supposed to be.
Climb up on some hill at sunrise. Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you'll find it there. ~Robb Sagendorph
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. ~John Muir