As a child I spent a year living in a small abandoned village in the French Alps with my mother and another family. We were self-sufficient, with no electricity, plumbing, or any other modern conveniences. Our deliciously sweet and pure water came from a natural spring, and our food was mainly grown and sourced from the mountain. Living there was a life-changing experience from which my love of mountains grew.
These days I don’t get to visit mountains very often, but when I do, the memories and feelings come flooding back. If you haven’t spent time in mountain areas, I urge you to do so, there is nothing like it.
People who love mountains are sure to understand these 10 things:
1. You’ve learned about peace from mountains
You find deep peacefulness when spending time on a mountain. It is a unique feeling of calm and tranquility that you need to experience to understand. It filters through you, and stays with you for a time after you leave. When walking on a mountain, take time to sit down and reflect for a while: appreciate the stillness, and listen to the silence. You’ll be glad you did.
2. You know what mountains can do for your fitness
You realize there is nowhere better to go hiking. It is great exercise; the variety of terrain, and the climbing angles can’t be replicated anywhere else. You don’t need to be an expert mountaineer to experience these exercise benefits- it can be as challenging as you want it to be. You do need to ensure you are well aware of the risks though, and prepare adequately.
3. You’ve gained perspective from time spent on mountains
They say you have to climb up a large mountain to appreciate how small you are. Mountains are humbling, in a good way, as they help you gain perspective on life. The higher you climb the mountain, the more you will appreciate this. Look out at the world from high up on a mountain; the world is amazing and so are you.
4. You’ve learned about beauty from time spent on mountains
You cannot deny their breathtaking beauty. Whatever the season, whatever the mountain, you have the opportunity to appreciate nature at its best. From the smallest flower, to the most dramatic rock face, from a cascading waterfall, to a snowy peak. No picture or words can do it justice: you have to be there.
5. Your perspective on time changes when you’re on a mountain
You get a sense of time standing still. You imagine that the mountain has looked exactly the same for a really long time, and you imagine you will still look and feel the same for a really long time too. On a mountain, time seems slow and settled around you.
6. You always appreciate mountain air
You notice how wonderfully clean the air is. The purity and freshness of what you breathe in when on a mountain feels cleansing and life-enhancing. You realize how tainted the air you usually breathe is. Take it in deeply, feel the benefit.
7. You love mountain fragrances
Aside from the air purity, your nostrils will be filled with wonderful fragrances as you travel the mountain, not only from the pines, mountain flowers, and other plants, but from the mountain itself.
8. You’ve learned about the importance of unspoiled nature
You appreciate how important it is to keep parts of our planet unspoiled. Apart from some of the most popular tourist mountain areas around the world, the majority of mountain areas remain in their beautiful, natural, unspoiled state.
9. You respect weather
You quickly learn a healthy respect for the weather when on mountains; in certain areas conditions can become dangerous quite quickly. If you spend much time there, you will become sensitive to the weather, in order to be responsive and safety-conscious.
10. You know the importance of exploration
You know that there is always something new to explore on a mountain, a new path to travel. Mountains are rich with wondrous delights, capable of satisfying your primal urges for exploration. Marvel in their beauty. Be awed by their vastness, and appreciate the gift that they are.
What are you waiting for?
Featured photo credit: Bald Mountain Hike – Mt. Hood, Oregon/Thomas Shahan via flickr.com