The Need to Climb Mountains
The adventures we go on, no matter how small, can add meaning and happiness to our lives. Even going on a hike in a new place can be, if not a highlight, then at least a bright spark in the 365 days that make up a year. The beautiful open views and special events we witnesses during an outing in nature we carry with us for the rest of our lives. To feel a dragonfly land on the back of your hand, or see a silver fish wiggle at the bottom of a clear mountain lake can create a memory that lives inside us like a secret treasure. These invisible treasures remain in the library of our minds, available for our recollection at any time. The more we visit nature, the richer our inner library becomes. In contrast, when we live each day in a similar pattern, the days run into weeks and the weeks run into years, and life begins to feel very short indeed.
Spending time in nature not only makes life feel fuller and longer, but it also can give us valuable insights into our lives. Looking down at the world from the crest of a mountain is a powerful sight that leaves us a little bit wiser each time. In the words of the French poet Rene Daumal, "You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know. "
The things that we know after we have seen the full splendor of nature are the gifts we bring back to our normal daily lives. We return to civilization inspired by the quiet beauty of nature.
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