I need a mountain – Friday photos





I miss the mountains.

City life in Toronto is outstanding.  I’m still smiling everytime I come out of the Spadina St. subway station into the city, feeling the energy, diversity and vibrant life all around me here.

But I miss mountains.




For the past 20 years of my life I’ve lived in the Coastal and Rocky mountain ranges – and the places we live shape us.  And I’m feeling a mountain-shaped hole in my heart (remarkable, isn’t it, how much you can fit into your heart?)


I miss seeing the mountains as my constant horizon, a reference point, a regular reminder of how small I am.

I miss how they test me, push me beyond myself, daunt me, force me to face my fears.

Most times out hiking or for a scramble, the first half-hour I would hike quietly.  The mountains can kill you in dozens of ways – weather, exposure, bears, stupid mistakes, avalanches, falling rocks, me falling.

A mountain is utterly indifferent to me and does not care one wit for my survival.  You enter the mountains on its terms, not yours.  There’s a fierceness to that wildness and wilderness. None of this naive romanticism about the wilderness please.

That first 30 minutes was a memento mori (“Remember you will die.”) type of moment.  I miss the healthy spiritual cleanse that gave my soul (I’ll have to substitute that with a regular walk through a cemetery – somehow not quite the same).




I miss how the mountains made me contemplative.  I would become keenly mindful, alive and attentive to everything around me.   Aware of my breathing, the rhythm of my steps, conserving energy.  I don’t know how else to call it but contemplative.









I’m sure there’s an urban or Ontario equivalent of these but right now I’ve got a mountain-shaped hole in my heart I don’t know what to do with.

I miss the mountains.

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