The Mountain

The Mountain

Perhaps she was born out of a great release of energy; a collision of opposing forces. Or maybe she came to being more subtly than that – lifted slowly, gracefully from the flatlands to finally assert her prominence.

Whatever the circumstance of her birth, her glory came in the middle of life. Her beauty admired, her magnificence revered. She grazed the sky with no effort at all. Capped with ice and adorned with glaciers, slung with a casual elegance over her shoulders. Her unique presence, her unmistakable magnitude would pale any man, any love, or any malevolence, into insignificance. She was indomitable in her quiet splendor. Seemingly unmovable. Unchangeable. Indestructible.

But she did change, every second of her being. Forces that strove to wear her down beleaguered her from the moment of her birth. The incessant sun; its heat fashioning fragments of her – harsh and angular. The unforgiving wind, clearing the way for the other elements to do their worst; attacking from all perspectives to change her form. And the rain. The rain would work so tirelessly to break her down, constantly washing away parts of her, creating wide crevices and channels that would work their way deep underground, breaking her open; exposing her very soul.

She would find value in this onslaught. These elements would change her form, erode her being – cracks and fissures, splits and fractures robbing her of her beauty. These forces she forgave. These forces she loved. She saw the truth – how they would, without judgment, smooth and polish some of her uglier, sharper edges. But most of all, they created a place in her where, from cold, hard rock, an abundance of life could spring. They made her the beating heart – the keeper of life.

Though this profusion of life was bittersweet. The thick vegetation would protect her from harm but in doing so, would take anchor – root deep, creating flaws; making her weaker. And man. He would strip her of all he found worthwhile. He built quarries and mines to harvest his bounty, then roads to greedily take it away – to leave her behind, empty of what she had.

She withstood all of this with grace and fortitude. Unremitting. And even after so many years people would look to her in awe.

But in the end, gravity was too powerful for her. Of every force she endured, none had the power to flatten a landscape more rapidly than that. She always knew that someday she would die – that even the highest mountains return to the ground. The cycle is such that the earth forms peaks only to flatten them down again. Such beautiful simplicity. For over more years than she was able to count, she was being carried downstream. Her particles washed away, a thimbleful at a time, to the bottom of the sea where she would be laid to rest.

Although how could she ever really die? Matter cannot be made. It cannot be destroyed. She could never cease to exist. In this universe. On this earth.

Perhaps one day she will be reborn as something tangible; something that we can see or touch – part of her may rise up and reach for the sky once again. Every minute of her life, she was constantly becoming part of something else. She is of the universe, intrinsically linked to every other thing.

So life continues on with no beginnings and no ends. We exist as magical particles and stardust and sunbeams and energy – all moving this way and that. I am everything. Everything is her. And she is me.

One day this sadness will subside, for she is not gone, she is simply elsewhere.  But for now, an emptiness exists. So with a melancholy smile I will reflect upon that vacant place on the landscape, haunted by her absence.

And I will remember her with love.


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