Saturday, August 29, 2009
My love for mountains
I grew up on a mountain. A shattered abused insignificant mountain amidst a thousand equally insignificant others in the hinterlands of Pennsylvania but it was my mountain or in all likelihood I was its person. Whatever the trials I faced and regardless of how uncertain I was the mountain was present. It represented constancy for me. I loved that mountain simply because it was there.
I have an inexplicable need to see mountains. In DC I regularly drag friends and Michael into the country or back up to Pennsylvania and in truth there is an element of pilgrimage in those trips. My greatest joy is to give gifts to people and I suppose forcing my loved ones to wander up hillsides is one of my many attempts at sharing.
It's nice to be able to see mountains outside my window and to be among a people who obviously hold this landscape in deep veneration. It's customary in Korea to build these small cairns of flat stones along rivers to mark particularly beautiful spots. When placing a stone one is supposed to make a prayer or wish.
So I happily spent my afternoon clambering up riverbeds in search of cairns in Korea. It is wonderful to be back in the mountains. Now if only I could right poem about my heart being in the highlands and not have the Scots place a bounty on my head ...