“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 away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
― John Muir,
In the mountains I have given birth to everything wise I have ever known and done. There is something about the mountains that turns men and women into visionary souls on a purpose greater than self.
When I say mountain, I do not mean that hill around the corner all nicely bordered by posts and signs, nor that way that you can arrive without getting there. Those are no longer mountains just as a tame tiger is no longer a wild animal. When people conquer nature in order to create a safe and easy passage to it and through it, then for me, it ceases to hold the magic I speak about here.
Mountains are places I must walk to explore. I put a day pack or hire those more able to carry and I go to mountains. There are gates, not metal or boom gates. The gates are tests like: altitutde, rough ways, storms, winds, cold, narrow ways. These gates open to everyone who wants what is on the other side, bad enough.
Mountains are not places I go to conquer. I do not have the ambition to create a conquest over anything in nature, only religion can perceive nature as being put there for human consumption.
“The world, we are told, was made especially for man — a presumption not supported by all the facts.”
― John Muir,
And I have tried looking through the albums of photos I have bought back. I have even tried watching videos, mine and others, and yet, all falls short. I know it because I feel envy.
When I see a person exhaulted, inspired, immersed in mountains, I know how they feel but I can’t feel it. It’s like watching others have sex. You know how it feels but you are not “in” it. I feel that when I see people on video or photo or movies, sitting in the honesty of a mountain range. I tried to replicate this experience. Paddling, swimming, riding, driving, speaking, sitting in zen. I can’t. I went to Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, to the Blue Mountains in Sydney, to Fox Glacier in New Zealand, to the Alps of Austria and France, to The Sierra Nevada, Colombia. To Bhutan, India and Tibet approaching the Himalayas from all directions. But it is just not the same.
My moment is in Nepal, in the Khumbu Valley, nearby on Sacred Lakes, on trekking peaks, side tracks. Here in this valley in Nepal. My moments and the moments of my clients come more easily that anywhere else on earth. Do not dare ask why… such a knowledge would kill the essence of it. It just is.
Truth hurts sometimes. So you’ve really got to want it. You’ve really got to love it. Truth, yours and others begins in nature. And this is what comes down from mountains in Nepal. You bring it home.