Tuesday, March 1

Climbing Mount Snowdon - A Moment of Spirituality

Now where the snow had been was a tangle of grey ethereal clouds as if she had remembered her long forgotten volcanic origins, and awoken once again.

We rarely managed to look up though. The melting snow birthed streams in every direction, even down the path we climbed. Our every step sent shivers running through the water, our own personal earthquake. The rocks fought, and slipped against us. And so we looked at the path ahead of us, and we made our way slowly up her side.

As we climbed the horizon grew, as if the world were stretching to show off to us. Where before there had been nothing trees, now there was fields and lakes, forests and hills. Even the sea showed itself, a sliver glint on the furthest horizon. A taste of forever just beyond our sight. And still we climbed. Our legs began to burn, the path got steeper. Eventually we left it behind us, scaling the rocks, stumbling, then leaping up, bruised, tired, but still carrying on.

A few steps more, our feet on fire, our clothes damp from the hail and rain, we climbed to the top of a ridge. And we looked over into the edge of the world. The mountain disappeared beneath us. We looked down at a lake, hundreds of feet below us, a mirror laid on the ground to reflect the sky. There were people there, so small they were nothing but specks, as the earth is a speck in our solar system, and the galaxy a speck in the universe. And we looked down upon it all, just specks in a speck, in a speck.

And yet standing there, the earth opened up beneath us, sharing her treasures with us, we felt like the most important people in the universe. To be allowed to spend just a moment there was an astounding privilege, an honor the earth had bestowed on us.

I pondered the age of the rocks beneath my feet, that had waited so many millions of years for me to climb them. I gazed at the landscape unrolled before me, a masterpiece of nature, that seemed to have been waiting for me to see it. This was a moment in time that I would never forget, that would stay with me forever, as a beautiful dreams clings to the thoughts when you wake up in the morning.

We looked. And we listened. There was nothing to hear, except the sound of waterfalls. There were no worries, no complaints, no panic. Just the rush of water as it scattered down the mountain. The sound of a river being born.

Mount Snowdon

And, slowly even my thoughts faded away.There was nothing left to think about. There was nothing but now, with the majesty of the earth shining below me and the water singing as it headed to the valleys below.

Eventually, as the cold started to bite, we turned and began the journey back. Back down the path, back down the rocks that slipped beneath us, back to the car, and the worries, and the life that waited at the base of the mountain.

But as we drove away the mountain looked down upon us. It’s peak seemed to follow us, to linger with us, as the country disappeared and the real world unfolded. We gazed at her peak until the last moment, until she had disappeared beyond the horizon, each of us sharing a silent memory of a moment that would stay with us forever. A moment when we had stood upon the stairs of heaven, floating over the world below us, and looking down, and marveling at the tiny specks, of our tiny little lives.

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