Growing up in a rather flat county, mountains were always a mystery to me. I remember as a small child we would travel from Texas to New Mexico and I would climb big hills that I believed to be mountains. We played in turquoise filled rivers, while we searched for hidden treasures in the blue green waters.
Then when I was around 14 years old I travelled with my father and his family to Colorado. It was there that I was introduced to real mountains. We were driving and driving and then suddenly, there they were, on each side of the roadway all around us. And then we were right inside of them. I couldn't tilt my head upward enough to see the tip tops of these rocks. They were intimidating at first... but then they were not.
Through out my childhood I visited mountains: The Rockies in the west, the Smokies in the east, and into the ones in the New England area (what are they again?). I was always a visitor... I didn't understand them. But I wanted to.
Then I moved up north and the mountains were right outside my window every day. Not too close, but I could see them just over yonder. The sun would set behind them and I would long to be there. I visited often... very often. And it was during these years that I learned to listen to them. They would call. Mountain people know this... they long for you too.
"The mountains are calling, and I must go." John Muir
As mentioned, I have visited often over the years. I have camped in nature's belly, surrounded by these gentle giants. I have travelled over rocks and hiked through forests, just to find a place I have not yet seen. I have sat motionless beside the great rushing rivers, and have never been more at peace. One day I will live there.
And for this... I am grateful.
“All mountain people are like that. No matter where you go, the mountains call you back.”
Though I was not born near you, I am of you.