Mountains Breathing, Mountains Teaching

The best part of yesterday was the late evening, when it was already a bit dusky in the valley and the mountain towering above our house was gloriously lit up by the setting sun. When I came in the kitchen and saw the dear old mountain dusted by fresh snow, glowing softly orange in the setting sun, I forgot to breathe and was transported to a nice, soft place – very quiet, peaceful and eternal. I can feel (or at least like to imagine that I do) a sacred breath in all of nature, but nowhere else as strongly as in the company of these mysterious ancients made of stone and rock. To me, they are nature’s cathedrals of profound serenity, of patience and wisdom.

When I was a kid, I couldn’t be still, I had to ski and climb, run, wind-surf, cycle, anything, which allowed me to move and move and move a lot. Yet despite it, I could sit for a long while atop the boulder at my grandparents’ holiday home and watch, just watch the mountains. Like all mountains, those didn’t move either, they just stood there completely still, with their grey old heads up in the sky, sometimes wearing a white or a black cloud-beanie, but despite their utter stillness, they were fascinating and I never got bored of watching them. To this day I feel there’s something alive about them. If they know you and trust you, they reveal secrets to you, that otherwise they only share with the winds and the wild animals, who have made their home in the rocky and snowy embrace in the clouds.When you get quiet inside, you can actually feel them taking slow, easy, deep breaths, their out-breaths filling the world with quietude and peace.

I’m grateful I can live so close to them and even though I now cannot climb them, the strong bond forged between us when I was a kid will remain forever and I’ll always look up to them as not only my dear friends, but also as my teachers. In their ancient wordless langauge they teach me patience, resilience, stillness, strength and endurance.

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7 Responses to Mountains Breathing, Mountains Teaching

  1. Jay Colby says:

    Great post & you have an amazing site

  2. AshiAkira says:

    Your feeling beautifully expressed in your writing is certain to reflect the feeling many of us here also have toward the mountains. In our culture of polytheism in the mountainous land, the Japanese people thought the mountains were the main places where gods resided. Though they could not see gods, the people strongly felt gods’ existence and divine calmness when they went into mountains. This is the reason why they built so many temples deep in the mountains throughout the country. I myself love to view the beauty of mountains in all seasons and sometimes walk into the mountain woods to experience the calmness.

    • Tanja says:

      Divine calmness. I love how you expressed what I, too feel in the mountains. Thank you for explaining the reason why many Japanese temples can be found in the mountains. Maybe here we have churches on almost every hilltop because of the same reason. Or maybe it’s because of the old times when the Ottomans were trying to invade Europe and if the church was on a hilltop it wasn’t so easily accessible and the native people could sooner detect the Turkish soldiers approaching. Another reason might be that the ringing of the church bells, calling people to mass, can be heard far and wide from such a high spot. Your reply really got me thinking. 🙂

  3. Sabina says:

    Tanja, saj kar besed ne najdem… vedno izbereš takšne besede, ki se dotaknejo vsake celice telesa in jih napolnijo že od daleč. S spoštovanjem do narave in življenja samega. Tale stavek berem znova in znova…’nature’s cathedrals of profound serenity, of patience and wisdom’.
    Ujemi dan, čim več le tega.

  4. janez says:

    what else could i say but awesome.thx

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