14 december 2018

The Mountain

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The mountain. The lone mountain. The unchanging mountain. The constant in our existence. The safe foundation
What does the mountain think? Does the mountain think? Does it have a soul? A soul deep asleep? A soul, a conscience, that measures time not in minutes, hours and years but in thousands, millions, billions of years. Is one minute to us a thousand years to the mountain, or a million?

Mountain in Green, by Andy Lord.

So, what does the mountain think when it ”sees”, senses, the myriads of events, fast as lightning, that pass by its perimeter? How much can it perceive? A plant shoots out of the ground, grows into a tall tree… and just about when the mountain has got used to having it there, a violent storm – that to the mountain is just a light breeze – arrives and brings down the tree.

How does the mountain react to those tiny beings who scurry on and off around it, who construct small matchboxes and walk in and out of them, faster than the mountain can register; boxes which are torn down or fall into decay long before the mountain has got to know them? And the beings themselves… who hasten around in frenzy without any obvious goal or meaning.

Once in a great big while one of them will stop, will take time to sit down and observe the mountain. The mountain will notice, although it happens with neck-breaking speed, how one of the small creatures seeks shelter by the mountain; seeks shadow during a hot summer’s day, or lee on a windy winter’s night. Just like when the birds find a crevice high up to build their nest, with a clear view and where the winds provide a runway for flying.

The mountain notes this with a glimpse of satisfaction, when its less stationary cousins not only help themselves to the services of the mountain but also express their gratitude. When the tree whispers the mountain’s name in the wind, when the eagle spreads its wings and thanks the cliff for its assistance, when the man sinks down into the shade and with satisfaction leans his little body against the mountain’s huge one, then the mountain knows that these temporary guests can apprehend a sense of community, of solidarity, a feeling that they all have their place and their mission in the All.

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