In every pursuit in this world, there are those who seek the very best, the most extreme, the most spectacular. And so, it’s no surprise that even after the highest mountain top in the world has been climbed and visited, there are numerous replays of the event, as others risk life and limb to climb ‘the highest mountain’. As one who loves hiking, and enjoys the pleasures of high mountains, the rarified air, the joy of a long hard climb, and the high of seeing the world from up above, I’ve found that the statistics are far less impressive than the adventure itself. And that there are many beautiful and wonderful mountains in this world. And the greatest pleasure is learning to love them individually, and not writing some graffiti on a boulder or getting one’s name on a list of people who visited the place.
The same is true of the land, and the sea. There are certain places that have gotten a name for themselves; certain trees that are the biggest of all; certain tourist sites that are thought of as ‘most beautiful’. But the aspiration to ‘conquer’ these ultimates is insignificant in comparison with learning to love a piece of land… or a place in the sea… regardless of where that place may be.
And beauty and inspiration… and love itself… are very subjective. For many years now, I’ve had some favorite places, where I’ve liked to commune with nature. As in the post a couple of weeks ago, when I spoke of expanding the consciousness as I appreciate the infinite personality of the sea, I like going back to nature, and leaving most of the noise and the clutter of human existence behind me, as I find a good place in the world to contemplate on the nature of this world that surrounds me, and see the world and myself in the proper perspective. When loving another person, we don’t just kiss his forehead, because that’s at the top. I remember most fondly the redwood trees of northern California, which are greater and higher than any other trees I’ve encountered. And I’ve seen landscapes around the world that inspired me to stop everything else, and just revel in the wonder of their natural beauty. But it is in my own country, and often close to home, through the process of living with those places I’ve loved, over the years and through countless experiences, that I discover the most lyrical harmonies of man in coexistence with nature… in which my consciousness of the environment keeps on growing, and awareness includs my self, in a way most intimate and friendly. I am speaking of peace.