What is it about a mountain?

February 8th, 2014, 2pm

There’s something about a mountain that evokes drama in an otherwise normal moment. It’s epic in scale, and in history. It stands out in stark contrast against the geography around it.

A mountain can be personified thusly: proud, its face to the sky, but humble, roots going deep, never stretching further than it needs to; never cresting more of the horizon than necessary.

When I first moved to LA after college, I remember thinking that the beaches, in all their splendor, would never get old. Locals (or what passes for locals in LA: people who have been there a little longer than you) assured me I, too, would become inoculated against their distraction forthwith, just as everyone eventually comes to be. Sure enough, less than a year later, I found myself driving alongside magnificent beaches, sometimes even the same one upon which I first set eyes when I moved to the West Side, and I’d try and force the feeling. I’d try and force myself to be amazed, impressed; anything at all.

But I couldn’t. The beach, by then, had become just another highway. Just another telephone pole. Just another taco truck.

I lived in Missoula, Montana, long enough that I felt I should be fed up with the mountains; dismissive of them, actually. They surround the city on all sides, and you can’t look up from the ground without having one shoved in your face. “LOOK AT THIS COOL THING,” says the planet. “THERE’S SNOW ON IT AND EVERYTHING!” I’d look away, not wanting to be disappointed by how little it made me feel, but every time I’d do a stage-worthy double-take, sucking down a long drag with my eyes, a drunken smile creeping up my face.

There aren’t as many mountains visible from the city of Reykjavik as there are in Missoula, but they’re waiting, when you want them. Head out to the docks and look out at the horizon. On a clear day, you can see them lining the sky. On a cloudy or foggy day, only the sharpest of the bunch stand out against the otherwise ocean-dominated curve of the planet.

And they’re more than enough.


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Colin Wright

Author, entrepreneur, and full-time traveler / I move to a new country every four months based on the votes of my readers / My work (http://colin.io) / My blog (http://exilelifestyle.com) / My publishing company (http://asymmetrical.co)

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