ON THE IMPORTANCE OF MOUNTAINS
80% of fresh water on Earth originates in the mountains.
That is, nearly all our major, life-giving rivers find their source in some mountain or other.
20% of the Earth's surface is mountainous.
Moreover, those mountainous climates often cultivate a diversity of life and culture: plants that grow specially low to the ground, in order not to be disturbed by the wind; and people who grow wiser, adapting their lives, languages and customs to the landscape.
Mountains have long been held in human esteem, as the abodes of great deities. Look only to those mountains of myths: Mt. Olympus, Everest, Machu Picchu, and Helgafell, and you will find the great gods.
ON THE WISDOM OF MOUNTAINS
An ancient Sumerian legend names Ninhursag, 'Lady of the Sacred Mountain,' as the divine mother goddess.
. . .
Oldest, born of rock, she birthed into this world the plants and the people. And when her escort, the God Enki, became sick from his overconsumption, she took him in, healing him and bringing health back to the world.
. . .
I cannot help but see the parallels between this 5000 year old myth, and our own contemporary predicaments. The mountain goddess teaches us to care for others, to heal all things.
Roots to the core of the planet,
Tops touching the outer reaches of the atmosphere,
the mountain body is like to our own -
grounded yet lofty. Careful observation reveals our interconnected natures.
From the tops of mountains,
we may gain some greater perspective.
. . .
Laid out before us is the land below - all things happening there without our presence - the world goes on and on. Our problems shrink in the ever-distance. We see change along the horizon.
The mountain knows Time inside and out.
She was there when the plates moved to make her.
She will be there till the rains erode her.
. . .
She knows the secrets of the June flowers,
and of the fox that passes,
and the climber who stands for a moment,
surveying an impassible ridge,
and the thoughts of beetles...
Long years, passing moments.
...small wonders to be found on mount Elbert...
14,440 feet above the sea
A treeless land of hillocks.
Blasting wind, then silence.
Chirruping insects in the low grass.
A sense of great achievement.
The silence of my body,
shutting down every facet of thought and function
till all that is remains
are the essentials:
legs, heart, breath, blood.
Being thankful for my lungs, and for the air that I breath.