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Oh for the Irony of Mountains

Oh, for the irony of mountains. Mighty peaks reach for the heavens above. They stand so tall that they catch passing clouds, forcing snow to fall. Snow deepens, bringing joyous occasions with the changing of seasons. Snow softens under lengthening days, wearing on the old. Rivers are born, glowing with the color of mountains, fueled by the loft of snow.

They stand so tall that they birth their own demise. Decorating expanses as far as the eye can see, the rivers carry them swiftly to sea. Rock tumbles downward in raging torrents, gulping for air. Remaining strong, the mountains turn to sand.

Born from the sea and crust beneath, the Earth is their sheath. The more they die, the more they rise. Standing tall, they force snow to fall, sculpting them into what we call mountains before they fall.

When they stand so tall, their height becomes under-appreciated.

For if they stood tall and failed to catch the clouds, they would forever be tall. With no snow, rivers would not flow and the mountains glow would be locked in their height.

For the irony of mountains is not that they stand tall and catch the clouds. Nor is the irony of mountains that they need to fall in order to rise. The irony of mountains lies in the wild, how they are filed in unpredictable ways by their life long partner, without whom they would never birth young.

From the human perception, the mountains are much unlike us- relatively static with only subtle changes over years time. From the perception of the wild, the mountains are very much like us- dynamic and unpredictable. A wild mountain is tamed by a mighty river, yet without the river there would be no wild in the mountains. Humans are like mountains, wild by nature, but tamed by what we depend on. Yet we call the mountains wild, often isolating them to “wilderness” and fail to see the wild in us. This is the irony of mountains.

Humans lose sight of this similarity in that we no longer consider ourselves, or our things wild. Pines stand tall to hold the mountains veins in order to transport the life of an ancient jungle so that a mountain can give birth to a river. When these forces combine a new mountain is born, and this is indeed wild. Humans are not just like the mountains, we are the mountains. Mighty beings reaching for the heavens above. Standing tall and dancing with the clouds as snow falls. Married to rivers which shape and sculpt, wear and tear. Oh for the irony of mountains.

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