“Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, and a powerful solace in them. At bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent conviction – so easy to lapse into – that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. By speaking of greater forces than we can possibly invoke, and by confronting us with greater spans of time than we can possibly envisage, mountains refute our excessive trust in the man-made. They pose profound questions about our durability and the importance of our schemes. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us.”
― Robert Macfarlane
I spent the greater part of today in Whistler, BC visiting friends and enjoying the mountain view. Whistler, besides being the site of the Winter Olympics in 2012 is renown for skiing and hiking. Outside of the resorts it also has become something of a large picturesque shopping mall. On a busy holiday weekend, thousands of people could be seen shopping and milling around. Many were attending a yoga festival and in the main field of the tourist park mall there were around fifty people, impressing lookers on and their friends with the way that they could contort their bodies. There were kids running and lots of dogs and people generally having a good time but moving quickly from one place to another.
It felt good to look to the mountains and see the unmoving. They have been there way before there was an Olympic village and way before there was a native fishing village. They preceded humans and may very well be there way past the time when we are not. I look to them and find patience and acceptance of everything that happens and a will to observe the hurry-scurry with tolerance, forbearing and humour even as I participated in it. Like the mountains I will forbear what comes my way tho unlike them I find times when action is necessary and even preferable. A mountain view always strengthens me tho as I realize that little that seems traumatic and important in the moment truly matters from another perspective.
Click on images to see full-sized:
Whistler Mountain By Day
Tantalus Mountains in the Evening