I’ve been fortunate to get into the mountains four times since the beginning of September. More often than I usually go in the fall, but it still doesn’t seem like enough. I love the mountains. I’ve learned I can’t live very long without them; even if I never go in them, I need them on the horizon. Though being in them can’t be beat. Some examples.
My brothers and I went into the Buckhorn Wilderness up in the Olympics and saw this:
Emily and I climbed Mt. St. Helens and saw nothing but clouds:
Emily and I also went to Indian Heaven Wilderness and got stuck in the clouds, but they started disappearing as we left. Then we saw this:
Then Dan, Bryce, and I hiked up Silver Star Mountain near Washougal and got another dose of clouds, but we did see this rock arch:
I love the views you get in the mountains. I wrote about that perspective a couple of years ago after a hike in the Lake District of England:
I love being in the midst of things, but there’s something to be said about elevation. I find it easier to be bogged down by the drudgery of everyday life when it is all around me. By getting out of it, getting above it, I find peace, clarity, and perspective. Looking out from a mountain top lets you see the big picture; the entire forest becomes apparent and the individual trees disappear. Strolling along the rocky spine with the grazing sheep gave me a chance to reorganize, re-prioritize, re-energize, and simplify. By seeing the big picture unfolded before me, I could rest easy in the present moment, secure in the knowledge that life in the valleys went on, and could go on, without me.
Unfortunately, these “mountain-top moments” can’t last, nor should they. However, what is gained on the mountain should be brought to the valleys. The perspective gained from a bird’s-eye view will help you navigate on the ground; the law given on Sinai has no effect unless Moses brings it to the desert floor. Nevertheless, the mountain is important. Without it, we become blinded by our immediate surroundings, failing to see beyond our selves. Elevation broadens our horizons, balances our perspective, and makes our lives dynamic.
Hopefully I’ll continue to take the opportunity to get out of the everyday valleys of life. I hope you do too, it’s worth it.