For many, the mountains never quit calling. There is an allure about them that takes us to a place in our minds where imagination runs free and unhindered. We feel the urge to climb their jagged peaks and summit their tops, to tower over all else. Mountains represent an ultimate humbling of mankind; a reminder that we are a blip on the radar of planet earth, but also a part of its immense beauty.
One’s first summit can be life altering. A plethora of emotions affect every sense in the body, resulting in an absolute state of euphoria. Everything you’ve done in life, the decisions made, paths of direction taken, places traveled, suddenly become clear but then forgotten. The world in a collective sense becomes apparent.
From there we are not just enticed but addicted to every aspect; the initial view of a mountain’s base, meandering switchbacks, breaking of the tree line, all the way to the final summit. No matter where I am or what I’m doing it’s as if the mountains are dialing my number and I can’t silence them, nor do I want to.
How did they get here? Were their peaks glacier carved or did they break through the crust, forcing themselves to the prominence they currently rest at? Was the process easy or was it a struggle? We ask the same questions about their story as we do our own. In all of us is a little bit of mountain.
As the great John Muir’s ubiquitous quote says, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” But there’s more to this statement than what’s at the surface. One has to completely let go of everyday concern and envelope themselves in even the most minute details, such as a dandelion waving in the wind alongside a steep slope, or an aspen grove far off in this distance carving out its place among the coniferous tree line.
Though the journey may be brutal and exhausting, answer the call. Adventure into the wilderness and see for yourself the majesty of mountains. And if they call again, pick up and greet them once more. In this way we discover that mountains deserve our presence just as much as we deserve theirs. We share a kindred spirit and the more we answer, an understanding of ourselves becomes more apparent each time.