OVER THE MOUNTAIN AND THROUGH THE WOODS
Over the mountain and through the woods to Grandma’s house, we go. No one told me how steep the mountains were or how thick the trees and undergrowth would be. How much effort it would take to go to Grandma’s and how much time it was going to take. Most of all, no one told me that the journey to Grandma’s should be an enjoyable experience and that the destination was not the end result. Maybe I should have been taught that we are going on this amazing journey and the end result would be a visit to see Grandma. So, while on the journey, pay attention to the wonders all around. Be present and see the diversity while on the way. Use your senses and take in what you see, what you hear, and what you smell. Take in the sweetness of the air and know in your being what clean healthy air smells like.
Isn’t this the way life is sometimes? We are so focused on the destination that we forget to enjoy the journey. We miss the miracles happening all around us by living outside the body and ignoring our inner being. We miss the happiness right before our eyes due to the focus of our vision on the future. We look but we do not see. We listen but do not hear, and we live without being aware. Maybe mountains can teach us how to do all three.
Mountains are incredible beings. They give us strength, inspiration, and a sense of permanency. Mountains are wise and old. They have been around thousands of years before me and will continue to be here thousands of years after I’m gone. They have secrets and memories of times and events that have been forgotten. They are silent in their wisdom and it takes a certain stillness to hear the whispers being spoken. The trees hear the wisdom, the birds hear their secrets and joyously proclaim them in songs. For us, we must take the time to unravel our busy world and inhale the timelessness of the mountains. To understand, we can allow ourselves a gift by experiencing these beings of the mountains on their level, not ours.
Mountains are more than earth. They are spheres of magical activities supporting a tremendous amount of life and diversity. I have seen and heard the wind beings moving through the mountains. You can hear them rush through the trees as the slopes of the mountains funnel their movements up to greater heights along the ridges. Sometimes in the fall, these wind beings taunt the trees by removing their colorful leaves and gently parading them upward into the sky. Defining gravity itself for a short period of time with a spectacle of color and dancing leaves. Temporarily, defying the very forces of the mountain and its magnetic attraction to carpet the floor below.
Winds are invisible beings but can be observed by the impact of the environment around them. You can smell the wind coming as well. Especially in the spring, the scents of fresh growth, blooming flowers, and the sweet smells of the earth travel effortless and lightly on the currents of the wind. Winds can be gentle and playful by bringing a multitude of smells from many miles away. Creating a mixture of scents by combining the fragrances of wildflowers with the aromas of the budding spring trees. Winds can manifest a magical power to bring us coolness in the heat of the day. Winds can be amazingly strong displaying an underestimated strength and force to reshape the mountains around them. I have seen the wind bend a mighty tree to the ground and uproot its many years of growth. I have seen the wind blow snowflakes onto the branches collecting them together to paint a serene landscape beyond the imagination. Showing me the true shape of the trees by emphasizing their shapes and different attributes, the wind takes snowflakes and outlines an exact replica in pure white gentleness.
One of the most amazing things about the mountain snow is how soft and serene it can be. Snow creates a silence that can be heard. It blends one’s own mind with this silence and makes you aware of an inner sense of your surroundings. By being held in its noiseless beauty, we find inner stillness and calm that is a part of our own nature. I have come to realize that snow is a combination of the beings of water and air and the wind is the motion of the two. Snowflakes dance as they fall to the music of the wind. Each one attends to its own movement through the greater direction orchestrated by the unseen wind. Each snowflake gives itself to outside guidance as it falls and is positioned by the higher power of the wind. It finds itself placed exactly where it should be. Uncaringly, but certainly, it gives itself to the wind trusting in the overall purpose of greater power.
Mountains have many things to teach us if we will just look and listen. As we pass through the landscape around us, it only takes a certain degree of awareness to really see and understand. In the beginning, we see the beauty outside of us, but by the grace of her ancient experience, the mountains help us to see our own inner beauty. We may only see the thick trees and bushes around us; but as we rest on our journey, we begin to experience smells, sights, and beauty which moves us into inner awareness. It is in this break, this resting spot along our mountainous path of life where we reflect on who and where we are. We are an inner person having an outer experience or as some say it better, “We are a spiritual being have a physical experience, not a physical being having a spiritual experience”. It is only when we move from the outer to the inner that we contact the being of the mountain.
Mountains are the beginning of streams and rivers. I have noticed more streams and creeks in the mountains than anywhere else. What amazes me is that these streams are always flowing. I know of one place at the top of a mountain where the water flows from a spring in the hillside. The elevation at this spring is around 3000 feet and there is always a constant flow of water. Where does all this water come from at 3000 feet? This mountain ridge has no less than 3 springs which mark the beginning of 3 branches of water. Each branch flowing downhill to form a larger creek. The water has been flowing from these branches for hundreds of years and never seems to run deplete itself. How can eternal springs of water exist at such altitudes?
Someone once told me that water follows the topography of the land so you can find water at 3000 feet just 100 feet under the ground. I can grasp this but where does all this water come from at the top of a mountain? What is its source? There is no lake to supply it. It does not rain every day nor does it have months of snowmelts to sustain it. I find it so interesting that our rivers, tributaries, streams, creeks, and branches start at the highest elevations and always have a source of water that never runs out. Maybe it’s symbolic of humans. Our inspirations are sourced from the higher planes within us. It is there where this self-sustaining and ever-flowing inner stream of life-giving power and manifestation to our ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Originating from an unknown source similar to our mountain springs, it flows out from within itself and gives of itself. It gathers with the like qualities of other streams thereby becoming more powerful and stronger as it moves along. Together they form a stronger current through the unity of like elements. Where once a small stream of water started from a mystic source, it is now a potent force of a river to be recognized. Thoughts are like water, flowing and gathering themselves into strong currents until they become a viable source. Like a mighty river with a name, thoughts become forms that will gather in strength and unity until they become a power unto themselves. Watch your stream of thoughts and only allow those that are beneficial to create streams and rivers in your life.
Over the mountains and through the wood to Grandma’s house, we go. No one told me how enjoyable it would be. The sights smell and sounds would become teachers which would reveal great secrets about myself and the world within me. I knew I loved to go to Grandma’s house but did not really understand why. Now I know my journey is a chance to learn and expand my world of happiness and goodness. I think I shall take many different paths in the future to get there. I will keep my mind open, my awareness keen, and listen to the inner voice that gently flows through me like the drifting snowflakes or mountain springs from the hillside. I will experience the mountains inwardly as well as outwardly and have a whole experience guided by the great being within and without.