How they stand solid, open to the elemental forces of nature that created them. Revealing every lump and bump, cleft and ridge that has been carved out over time.
Exposed. Raw. Confident.
"This is who I am!", they say to me, as they stand IN their power.
Telling the story of their formation. Layer by millennial layer of rockiness piled on top of each other like a cake slice of history topped with delicious snowy icing.
I've just returned from the mountains after a family ski holiday in the Italian Alps. It's become a family tradition over the past few years, in as eco a way as we can, and a great way to get the kids up and out into the majesty of nature.
I'm like the mammy shepherd herding the family from behind ready to swoop in to assist when needed. Really, it's a chance to take things slowly, what's the rush?! To appreciate and absorb the magnificently energetic views. So grateful for the opportunity to fully immerse ourselves in this fresh, cleansing, inspirational environment.
I'm now too slow for the kids of course when they prefer to whizz down the mountain!
"O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall. Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed." - Gerard Manley Hopkins
This line of Hopkins played around in my mind as I twisted and turned my way down the slopes. The line just wouldn't leave me alone in a slightly tormenting way!
What is it about the mountains that evokes a fear and a magnetism that draws us back time and time again?
"Because it's there!"...
is the infamous response to the question of why climb the mountain that George Mallory gave to a New York Times reporter in 1923.
The mystery of whether Mallory actually summited Everest with Irving, these great Alpen and Himalayan forces of nature will hold onto these secrets. They know. We can only surmise.
There is no conquering a mountain.
We are merely welcomed into the strong embrace of nature until such time as she decides otherwise.
Mountains demand our respect.
But I digress slightly. Back to Hopkins and his mountains.
What about the question of mountains of our mind, as Hopkins poetically ponders?
Hopkins was described as an innovative writer with a radically different style to his contemporaries. Radical. Idiosyncratic. Artistic. He wrote on themes such as nature and religion. Sadly? much of his poetry wasn't published until after his death.
Yes Hopkins, we can remain in the mountains of the mind to be tormented and all consumed by these unrelenting thought patterns that can create even bigger, more frightful, sheerer mountains....
We can invite our mind to relax, even for a moment...
THIS is where we can stand and BE in our true, innate, confident, raw, energetic power.
"Start Close In", as poet David Whyte says.
Right under our nose.
And repeat as needed!
"In 1889 Hopkins died in Dublin of typhoid fever, apparently caused by the polluted urban water supply, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery." - Poetryfoundation.org
A sad ending to his eclectically artistic life.
Perhaps he should have stayed in the mountains to breathe in and out that fresh, cleansing air?!
To you and your journey into be-ing IN your mountainous power,
PS: This is the nineteenth installment of the 21 Days Writing Series that I'm taking part in called The Journey: Into Your Soul Truth of Who You Are in Your Life and Work.
2 more days to go! Wowsers, what a journey this has been don't you think?! Let me know how this series is landing with you :). Email me!