beyond the mountain

mountain beauty | la bellezza della montagna si porta

Here, for the first time, broke upon me the unmistakable intimation of a last reality underlying mountain beauty; and here, for the first time, it awakened within me a faculty of comprehension that had never before been exercised. 

– W.H. Murray

It is beauty that keeps bringing me back to the mountains; it is beauty that holds me in the mountains. It is in part for beauty that I want to live in a village at the end of a road that winds up a valley carved by a torrent to 987 metres above sea level. The village has a population of 360 and for three months each winter does not see the sun. I, for whom my native, sunny, island land of New Zealand is too isolated, am determined to create a life here. Beyond the village one ascends into indescribable beauty. In the village, one finds cheerful community and a practical approach to life.

For Scottish mountaineer, explorer and writer W. H. Murray, mountain beauty was both portal to and expression of the Divine. In his book Mountaineering in Scotland, in writing that is itself transcendent, Murray returns again and again to this experience of beauty, and through beauty, the peace of transcendence.

For it fires the mind with the thought of the eternal, and we call that fire the love of beauty, and the emotion it arouses the awe of God. When there is created within our minds this state so difficult for mere intellect to understand — a blend in one of an inward movement of mind and a flawless calm . . . there emerges the highest beauty, peace.

For how many of us is the ascent of the mountain both physical objective and metaphorical path?

Great clearness of mind and an inner calm are part of the many rewards of adventurous mountaineering. The mind is purged of sea-level preoccupations and sentimentalities, stripped of self-seeking, alert to beauty, open to truth, and quick to understand. It is not too much to say that the test of true mountaineering is the presence of adventure and beauty, the criterion for the one being often uncertainty of result, and of the other, always inner purification.

Is this, then, why in every culture throughout history and antiquity, the mystics, seekers, seers, yogis, hermits find their way to the mountain, there to find that which they seek?

The discovery that beauty is in all, and that all beauty is the same beauty, is the first step to the highest peak of the universe.

È la bellezza che continua a riportarmi in montagna; è la bellezza che mi tiene in montagna. È anche per bellezza che voglio abitare in un borgo a 987 metri sul livello del mare, alla fine di una strada che si snoda su lungo una valle scavata da un torrente. Il borgo conta 360 abitanti e per tre mesi ogni inverno non vede il sole. Io, per la quale la mia terra natale, soleggiata, insulare della Nuova Zelanda è troppo isolata, sono determinata a farmi qui una vita. Oltre il borgo si sale in una bellezza indescrivibile. Nel borgo si trova una comunità allegra e un approccio pratico alla vita.

La scoperta che la bellezza è in tutto, e che tutta la bellezza è la stessa bellezza, è il primo passo verso la vetta più alta dell’universo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *