For the Love of Mountains: A Photo Odyssey

Yosemite National Park, California

We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us. Our flesh-and-bone tabernacle seems transparent as glass to the beauty about us, as if truly an inseparable part of it, thrilling with the air and trees, streams and rocks, in the waves of the sun,—a part of all nature, neither old nor young, sick nor well, but immortal.  ~John Muir

Yosemite’s High Country

I’ve been thinking a lot about mountains.  It’s been too long since I last visited some of the ranges I’m especially fond of.  With their lovely snow caps, exquisite waterfalls, clear-running streams, crystal alpine lakes, rugged terrain, variety of trees & wildlife, and incredible vistas, what’s not to miss?  John Muir, the Scottish-American who dedicated the latter part of his life to exploring and preserving the mountains of the Western US, was also enamored by them.  It is said that Muir exemplified our oneness with the earth, and biographer Donald Worster wrote that (Muir) believed his mission was saving the American soul from total surrender to materialism.”  When I read Muir’s quote above, I can feel my heart open to profound spiritual truth.

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

You must ascend a mountain to learn your relation to matter, and so to your own body, for it is at home there . . .  ~Henry David Thoreau

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

I suppose my love of mountains was forged at an early age. As a young child, I lived in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, and my family would sometimes drive north to see the more majestic areas of the range.  You might imagine how, years later, my infatuation grew as I began exploring ranges with higher and higher elevations.

Rocky Mountains

Every inch of the mountains is scarred by unimaginable convulsions, yet the new day is purple with the bloom of youth and love.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sequoia National Park, California

I have visited a lot of little mountain towns in this country.  Oftentimes, I hear that the indigenous people of the area consider their mountains sacred and go to great measures to protect them.  That’s not hard for me to understand, as mountains evoke a sense of reverent connection within me.  I believe that’s what Muir must have experienced, as well.  He wrote letters, articles, & books, and shared conversations with scientists, artists, celebrities, and statesmen in his preservation efforts.  Perhaps the pinnacle of his life’s work was co-founding the Sierra Club, thereby helping establish a number of National Parks in this country, which serve to protect his beloved mountains.

King’s Canyon National Park, California

The mountains are calling and I must go.  ~John Muir

King’s Canyon

Do you live in the mountains?  Does your family vacation in the mountains?  Do you spend time hiking or biking them, given the opportunity?  What is your favorite memory of mountains?  Which is your favorite range?

Grand Tetons, Wyoming

Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God. ~John Muir

Grand Teton National Park

If you enjoyed this essay, check out Micro of the Macro’s new Categories link for more on Environment, including posts & photos of wildflowers, animals, trees, and natural water features.

Blessings for Mountain Love,

Lisa

77 thoughts on “For the Love of Mountains: A Photo Odyssey

      1. Since I’ve lived so long in the lands where glaciers erased the mountains, for me they provoke astonishment and wonder. The Andes in Chile are beautiful, we were lucky enough to live with a view of them for a year.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Gorgeous photo essay, beautiful quotes! ❤ I, too, am a mountain girl, having spent most of my early life in small towns in and around the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. I swam and fished in the Shenandoah River and hiked in Shenandoah National Park. I moved to Florida in 1995, but the mountains will always be in my soul! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing this post. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Stunning postcards from the USA! I’ll save this post to soak up these beautiful places. (I’m just finishing a book about re-introducing wolves into Britain. Of course, the Yellowstone re-introduction is mentioned. Fascinating!)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My Dad was career Park Service so I had the cool privilege of growing up living in National Parks. Zion was the most beautiful, Yellowstone was the most beautiful and Mammoth Cave is home. My family moved three times as Mammoth Cave became a Park and I ride my horse there or hike there often.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi, Lisa, I read again every word and, I love it even more! The real paradise I knew was in the mountains of my childhood. I lived on top of the mountain, and every day I would walk 3km down the dry river bed to the primary school at the foothill of the mountain. The ribbon-like serpentine was wrapped up around the mountain for the buses and wood tracks to get up to the top. My way was shorter, direct, solitary, and through the wild part, and that is why I loved it. In summer my friend and I would play in the deep forest, pretending to be goddesses. I was Selene (Moon goddess), she was Diana (the huntress). We were building the temples. There was the dappled sun coming through branches of the pine trees, the dry needles under our bare feet, and that was the closest I came to paradise.
    Apologies for the long comment by your post brought the memories back.

    Joanna

    Apologies for such a lengthy comment but you brought memories back. Thank you.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Those pictures show incredible beauty Lisa, fantastic captures all. Mountains truely are special, for adventure or to rejuvenate, to relax or soul search. In our literature there are many mentions of people with failing health and minds being prescribed a vacation on the mountains. We have the Himalayan ranges and often travel to the lower ranges. Lovely post, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful, breathtaking pictures! Mountains have had tremendous impacts on many individuals, tribes and religions throughout the World since the beginning of time.

    In Christianity, the Transfiguration is a pivotal moment. It is the point where human nature meets God. The setting is on a mountain. It is the meeting place for both the temporal and the eternal. It was there that Jesus Christ became the connecting point between heaven and earth.

    In Judaism, Moses spent 40 days on top of Mount Sinai where God gave him “the two tablets of the covenant law, inscribed by the finger of God” which became known as The Ten Commandments.

    The Tibetan people worship snow-capped mountains, as well as lakes and the color white. They believe divinity takes place in the snowy areas of every mountain, and that even the rocks have a spirit. They also believe that if they circle around these sacred mountains, their sins can be cleansed. It is their hope that they reach nirvana.

    In Greece, Mount Olympus was once considered the home of all of the Greek Gods.

    In South America, the Andes Mountains were the home of the Inca Civilization. The peaks of these mountains were worshipped as various Gods by the people.

    Sometimes we forget about the impact that these beautiful structures still have on many individuals and cultures throughout the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lisa, although I am am a practicing Catholic, is very important to realize that my response to your blog was Not ONLY to Catholicism and/or Christianity! I made it a point to include other religions and cultural beliefs.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So nice to stumble upon this tribute to mountains. I’ve been missing them, too. I haven’t explored many in the US, except in Southern California. My favorite range is the Carpathians in Eastern Europe, particularly the part in Slovakia. Love the quotes, too. John Muir captured nature so perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

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