The Mountains are Home

Mountains are giant, restful, absorbent. You can heave your spirit into a mountain and the mountain will keep it, folded, and not throw it back as some creeks will. The creeks are the world with all its stimulus and beauty; I live there. But the mountains are home.
~Annie Dillard from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.

He loved mountains, or he has loved the thought of them marching on the edge of stories brought from far away; but now he was borne down by the insupportable weight of Middle-earth. He longed to shut out the immensity in a quiet room by a fire.
~J.R.R. Tolkien
from The Lord of the Rings

Yesterday afternoon we drove up the highway an hour or so to be witness to grander things than our own worries or the chaos of election season.

There is always that moment when we turn the bend into Heather Meadows and Mount Shuksan suddenly appears, overwhelming the landscape and everything and everyone else. There is simply nothing else to look at so I stand there gawking, forgetting to breathe.

Then I realize that I have become more self-conscious rather than less: here am I at the foot of this incredible creation, wondering at how blessed I am to be there, and that moment becomes all about me. The mountain has been here for eons and will continue to be here for eons, and I’m merely a momentary witness.

We had left behind all the divisiveness and drama and talking heads: up in the mountains there was such sheer stillness all around us – nary a breeze or a bird call or even a bug making ripples on the lakes to spoil the perfect reflection.

I brought these images back with me to remember my moment of awestruck witness. The photographic image isn’t the real mountain, it isn’t even the pristine perfect reflection. Yet it means I was privileged to watch the mountain watching me back, welcoming me home.

The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.
~ C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

8 thoughts on “The Mountains are Home

  1. All of your photographs are amazing–but these, today, are incredible! I can nearly feel myself there with you as you take them–nearly wordless with the wonder of the presence of God enjoying our enjoying of what He gifted us with–such glory!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Many years ago, we took a trip from the flatlands of Florida to Colorado. This is exactly how I felt–standing there gawking and forgetting how to breathe. Your photos are absolutely beautiful, Emily.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It was the perfect way to spend such a contentious day! We did the same thing last week – we live next to Rocky Mountain National Park – so we turned off phones, radios, took our chairs, picnic food and sat in the quiet of the mountains. God feeds our souls and quiets our minds when we are in His creation. Thank you Emily for always capturing so beautifully in photos and word what so many of us are thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The mountain scenes are just spectacular. Amazingly beautiful!!!
    The reflection is total perfection. But – that’s God.

    I don’t have mountain scenes to share,
    but I did share a picture of one meek little goldfinch sitting on the stalk
    of my lantana right outside my window the other day.
    And. I saw a nuthatch visit my feeder for the first time. Hopefully, not the last.
    One positive about cooler temps…more birds coming to the feeders.
    Thank God for nature right here…so close…so precious…so marvelous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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