Tuesday, May 27, 2008


For the past7 years or so, I have been climbing this mountain almost every morning. It does more than keep my heart healthy... it keeps body, mind and soul thriving. This mountain is like an old trusted friend. It has been the keeper of my secrets... it has been a blank canvas from which I paint my thoughts and ideas...a measuring stick that keeps track of my growth... a shoulder to cry on... a sounding board to scream at... an open space to find myself.

I think I have processed every emotion known to man on this mountain. I am an emotional being. When I feel sad, I cry, safely hidden amongst the trees who listen so intently to my woes. When I am angry, I silently scream out as I storm up the steeper inclines, working it out, hashing it out, setting free this raging energy deep within me looking for an outlet. When I am excited or nervous, it is a perfect place to set the butterflies free and burn off extra energy that doesn't cope well when it is pent up in the body. I process all kinds of pain here, sometimes over and over again until I am ready to let go.

But most of the time, when I am here, my mind is free and clear. This space is a clutter free zone. I walk through the bigger trees at the base of the mountain and sometimes stop in my tracks and let myself become a part of the bigger picture...the textures, colours, sounds and smells of the lush landscape. Especially on windy or rainy days. I look up and watch the tops of the trees dance to a whispery song. I listen to the soft pitter- patter of the cleansing raindrops on the giant maple leaves. It is so green here.

When I get to the top, there is nothing between me and peace. I lay back on the rocks and watch the clouds drift by as I get my daily dose of vitamin D. Definitely beats taking it in pill form. I daydream here and think up strange and wonderful things. It never ceases to amaze me how different it can look here from day to day. Some days it's like I have climbed right into the middle of a cloud...the trees look mysterious and haunting in the mist. Other days, when the sun is shining, I look out over the sparkling blue sea and I feel like I am flying.

I rarely get bored of this place, even after so many years. If I tire of one trail, I find a new one, as there are many. But it's not just about the beautiful landscape...it's about tending to the complex landscape within. Being present with myself..checking in. I can't think of a better way to start my day.


  1. Looks really, really lovely :-) I'm so jealous that you have a view of the sea *lol*

    I also understand deeply that need to be alone and surrounded by nature.

  2. Very often i go to the Grande Chartreuse.
    There's a very huge monastry, where cloistered monk live in extreme austerity, the high walls and the mountains. Its totally closed to outsiders. It was established by the order of St Bruno in 1084.
    Today, only 9 monks have stuck to the rigour, or whatever sort of prison or freedom they have chosen.
    They live in silence and die in silence.
    They maintain no contact with the outside world.

    i go there to climb this smaller part of the french alps, more or less to pursue a similar pilgrimage as yours.
    If you are here one day, i'd love take you up there.

    Mountains are natural cathedrals, open air monastries - the kind where i like to be; where walking is like praying , or painting with the brush of your feelings on the canvas of your Soul....if you dont do it, the mountain and the sky will do it for you.

    Its an hour and a half drive from where i live.
    Does it motivitate you.



  3. Jaime,

    This has opened up so many memories. I grew up in San Francisco, and sometimes the waves from Ocean Beach still call to me. They received all of my yearnings as a young girl. I used to think that each seashell would whisper my secrets back to me when I picked them up and placed them close to my ear.

    How wondrous for this mountain to have received your soul through the years. Though you are not in the pictures, you are in every tree there.

  4. If you check the '16 nov 2007' , in 'buddha's garbage 'you'll could find " going to the mountains " or "Chamchaude" which was also posted on the same day.

    How strange is this love for mountains. Perhaps, another common point.


  5. "This mountain is like an old trusted friend."
    I know just how that feels. It's very special, to have put so much of your life and time into a place that you're part of it, and it you.
    You are a wonderful writer, so much so that I can see you on that mountain, pouring your heart out- very powerful words.
    You've found a way to love your home and never be bored. I think that's true happiness.

  6. Beautiful. Oh, how I long for a special place like this again. My old one is 500 miles away :(.


  7. I love that you climb this mountain every morning... what a wonderful way to start your day, so close to nature and LIFE! Good on you! xo...

  8. What an amazing place, and what beautiful photos. And what an amazing way to start your day "A measuring stick to keep track of my growth". I love that.

    Thanks for letting us take the trails with you today.


  9. when i opened your post page today and saw the photos i jumped right out of my chair prepared to get at my camera and go out and see what i could see through the lens.. i was mightily inspired but glad i set myself back down and read you post slowly and with focus. to have your sacred place and to know when you have arrived is a desire many would give up great wealth to have fulfilled. a place of peace but one that also challenges you. no need for a long pilgrimage in search of that place where you can hear yourself. you have found and used it well for 7 years. that is a beautiful thing really.

    and once i read your piece i did go out and take some photos :) and it was a good thing to have responded to both inspirations. the landscape photos today are as lovely as your close-ups and i was happy just to be looking at them :)
    thanks rhayne
    your friend, bird tweet robin from down the road

  10. how wonderful .. i really need a morning routine with nature to smile with me through the day :) how lovely that you have these mountain trails to wander .. xo

  11. Stunning! My heart really longs for a place like this to roam free again too...Nature is a great confidente.

    I love how you don't take all this beauty forgranted.


  12. i love that notion of tending the landscape within! how wonderful to have a beautiful place to do that. one could wish that everyone had such a place! lovely posting!


  13. Very well written with photos to match, a blog of depth using a daily moment to point at the deep deep intimacy of your life.
    I had a few teen boys playing poker at my place the other night (my son's idea) and talking about photography. I showed them your pictures and they stopped their game to look all the way through.

  14. So beautifully expressed - both in words and images. I walk - every morning - around a lake. I've been doing it for years now..and almost know every inch of it by heart.
    And yet - every morning I find something new and different. It is my clutter free zone.
    Thanks for sharing..

  15. Lucky you to have such a place to go to. More importantly, good for you that you make taking care of your body and your spirit such a priority. I think there are many of us who could learn from your example - whether or not we have such a beautiful place to hike. Happy climbing to you tomorrow morning, and every morning.

  16. how breathgiving this gift you
    give yourself ~ i heart trees
    ~ i talk to them)

    gorgeous gorgeous photo's all
    preening greenly:)

  17. visiting your blog was a beautiful discovery.
    i can relate to your words and wish i had a mountain like this in the vicinity.
    actually, there are a few but the are all crowded with other people and i so crave some solitude...