93 – Mountains *

Special thanks to Otto Munchow for providing the photographs. Otto, a photojournalist from Norway, travels the world to capture moments. I encourage readers to visit Otto at In Flow with Creativity, plus you can find him on Instagram (ottovonmunchow). Please tell him I sent you and feel free to comment on his images here. All photos are copyrighted by Otto Munchow.

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like to walk on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet

The northern gulf coast region is relatively flat. But as I walk today, my memory is of a beach in Italy. Its sand is nowhere near as fine or as packed as here. Walking was difficult; however, the mountains were nearby.

The city of Carrara is in those mountains. Yes – the place of the famed Carrara marble. Marble of the mountains is evident on the beach as large boulders embedded in the sand – as small stones – and as streaks appearing as veins in other stones. But my thoughts shift to the mountains.

Mountains – those massive landforms rising above the surrounding land. Have you ever wondered how much earthen material is in a mountain? How much land would a mountain cover at the depth of a hand if we flattened the mountain?

Mountains have stood for a long time. Formed by upward tectonic forces or volcanic activity, yet they have also been slowly weathering. All mountains are not the same age. The tops of older mountains are more rounded than the young projecting sharp peaks toward the heavens.

Mountains are large masses of rocks with tempestuous cliffs and even snow-capped for at least part of the year. Some mountains are often shrouded by clouds, but others are frequent visual feasts. Mountains cause us to think about elevation, volume, relief, steepness, and slope. The last two are the same but no matter the mountain, they are natural, majestic giants.

Where we find mountains, we also find valleys – valleys carved by moving water over time. Valleys serve as homes to rivers and towns found beneath the shadows of their towering neighbors.

As we go higher up the mountain, we find changing climates, conditions, plants, animals, and types of life – all working together to form layers of ecosystems that seem to stack upon each other. Sometimes, we see the timberline where trees are absent upward, but other lines may divide wet and dry.

I think of a few major mountains as Fuji, Olympus, Kilimanjaro, Denali, Everest, Blanc, Vesuvius, Etna, and the Matterhorn. Some are sacred places because the mountain is the home to gods, but others stand as iconic landmarks. For other people, the mountain top is the home of their zen.

The mountain top is where philosophers sit to ponder why we are here – where scientists climb to solve problems – where monks retreat for study, focus, and solitude – where athletes push themselves to reach the peak of victory – where astronomers gather to study the stars – and where humanity goes to stand in awe at the wonders of the world. For me, no matter if it’s a mountain or a hill, the view from the top looking down into a valley or across a plain is a special moment.

Mountains seem wild and inaccessible, so they serve to challenge the daring. Therefore, mountains are a metaphor for the challenges all of us meet in life – the challenges where we doubt ourselves and face our fears.

Mountains call us to come – to climb – to accept the challenge. Mountains expect us to take risks and face our fears of heights, failing, falling, and even death. The work won’t be easy, but we can do it. Such an effort is not for the lazy and the unprepared because the mountain has many secrets.

Like life, success on the mountain requires having a goal with a plan, implementing the plan, and making good decisions that are in sync with the goal. Climbing the mountain requires preparation, patience, and diligence while reading the terrain. Only then can one reach the summit to view the horizons – possibly seeing that there are other mountains to climb.

Mountains are also like learning. The more one knows, the mountain seems to grow as the learning journey seems never-ending. But learning is a fabulous journey.

Compared to the Rockies, Alps, Andes, and the Himalayas, many other mountains are mere foothills – but to the one looking up, all are real and vivid. I grew up in the Appalachian foothills, but they are hills, not mountains. I think of my hometown as a shoestring squeezed between hills and a river – hills of sandstone that erosion break away to accumulate as a faraway beach.

In many cases, as one approaches a mountain range, they first encounter foothills – those gradual increases in elevation. Then again, foothills gradually decrease when traveling away from the mountains. I chuckle at the thought that foothills can be mountains, such as the Piedmont Mountains, which are one of the Appalachian foothills. Yet, the Piedmont region of Italy is the foothills to the Alps.

I can’t forget the mountains of the region of my paternal grandparents. Traveling into that narrow valley warms my heart. Then to drive up the mountain to a small village near the top. I love to look into the distance while standing on the road of my ancestors.

Mountains are a great chair sitting above the plain, sea, or valley. I think of the long journey across the flat Great Plains of the central USA, and then to see in the distance a string of majestic peaks suddenly rising above the plains as if they were chairs for gods. Let us not forget that the mountain is also home to treasures such as caves, minerals, and gems.

As towering beauties high above us, mountains are natural monuments. Let us not forget that tall mountains also exist below the water surface in the depths of the oceans – and some rising above the water to form an island. I think the oceans are older than mountains, but I am not sure. But I confidently say that I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

See what other bloggers have posted about Mountains

Next Post: Reflection – Saturday 27 November @ 1 AM (Eastern US)


112 thoughts on “93 – Mountains *”

  1. You have captured the magic of mountains. I will never forget the first time I saw the Rocky mountains at sunrise….I never seen anything more beautiful since.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I live quite close to the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales, Frank, and they are magnificent.Not that I’ve been up them, I hasten to add, but driving by and through them is a treat all in itself!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Mountains are so majestic…..no matter where they may be they remind us of many things – challenges, goals, and the beauty in any landscape they are a part of. I remember going over the Rockies when I was a child many years ago and being so impressed by the views around every corner – mountains give us perspective. Then I lived on a mountain when my Dad was stationed in Taiwan…..I learned that even the “climate” was different up on top of the mountain than down below. Mountains call to us – I’ve never felt inclined to climb one but I certainly have admired them from afar knowing they were here long before we were.

    Pam

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was a lovely thoughtful walk, Frank. You captured the mystery and majesty of mountains. I live in the hadrons of the Cascades for three years. I hiked, skied and gazed at them from every imaginable viewpoint I lived in Seattle when Mt St Helens erupted. That’s what I thought of when you mentioned wondering how much land a mountain would cover. I’ve been back to Mt St Helens, and she is growing again. Man has fixed the bridges and roads nature rebuilds mountains and reroutes rivers. It all works and the mountains remain beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is beautiful, Frank. I always enjoy your words and to pair them with Otto’s images is wonderful. I’ve been pondering mountains lately. I think I’d like to live near or in the mountains somewhere. Or at least that’s what I’ve been thinking since our trip to West Virginia (whose mountains are quite small compared to others in the world).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Robin,
      Thanks for the kind words about the words and Otto’s photos. Yes, the mountains of West Virginia are much smaller than many others, but they still provide that special sense of awe and wonder! I’ve got the feeling your future includes a mountain home.

      Like

  6. This was really beautiful Frank. You captured the beauty of mountain si well, we kept on reading and reading. Also, the background music backs you to go near the mountain and hear that challenging sound from the mountains. Great analogy of mountains with our life. Yes, they challenge us to achieve a higher position in life. Thanks a lot for sharing this wisdom!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I couldn’t live without mountains: the challenge they offer, the views, and the way they put us firmly in our place about how insignificant we really are. They inspire awe, and that’s in short supply these days.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A lovely post today, Frank. As a resident in the Rocky Mountain region, the first thing that popped into my head as I looked through the incredible images from your blogging friend was this John Muir quote: “The mountains are calling, and I must go.” Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi, Frank, I love mountains: the look of them, the life within them, and most of all, the ascent. I am blessed to live in a mountainous region. The photos shared here are stunning, and paired with your prose, this could be my favorite of all your posts. Have a glorious holiday! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa,
      Wow …. saying this one could be your all-time favorite is quite the praise. Thank you! Your joy, appreciation, and love for mountains is clear. 🙂 Living in a mountainous region may be a factor. Cheers to that. Thanks for the kind words about Otto;s wonderful photos. He’s outstanding and I’m lucky to have him share here. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Have you always lived in a mountainous region?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have lived in the mountains for only about a decade. I also lived on Ocean Blvd in South Florida for many years. I loved the ocean & felt I could never be away from it. But once I started exploring this beautiful country, I realized what I appreciated so much about the ocean was its serenity & spaciousness, which can also be found in abundance here. A happy holiday to you too! 🌞

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Otto’s images are always breathtaking.
    Mountains have such a mystique, don’t they?
    I think of the summer of 2014 when we (my sister’s family and mine) climbed up Mount Washington. The view from the top was fantastic and we were exhilarated from the climb. Such a feeling of satisfaction to have succeeded. And I know. This was no Kilimanjaro but hey… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dale,
      Thanks for the shoutout for Otto’s great images. I’m lucky to have him sharing them with me. Cheers to your Mt Washington climb. I’ve heard that is a good one … and also a tendency to be very windy at the top. Yes, the very high mountains are extra special, but as we know – smaller mountains also deliver a wonderful glory!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. His images are always so spectacular.
        We did both Whiteface and Washington and both were good challenges.
        Way back in 1980 and 1992, I went to Blackcomb & Whistler in B.C. – now the view from there? Wow.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Funny that your receent beach walk reflection focused on mountains. I walked our beach today and Mt. Arrowsmith was in all of its glory – demanding to be noticed. Such stunning views.
    Oh, and I was looking for your Cranberry-Sausage Spaghetti recipe which I had saved but can no longer find.
    Can you please resend it to me?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. When we moved from Florida to Georgia, I was thrilled that we were closer to the mountains. Something about mountains and quaint little mountain towns is comforting to me. We live about an hour away from the Blue Ridge Mountain region and visit there frequently.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Cincinnati has a mountain of challenges ahead of them if they are going to crack the top four before the end of the season, and unlike a real mountain, their best work might not even scale this one, unfortunately.

    Lovely captures to go along with a wonderful piece, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marc,
      Mountainous challenges are an excellent metaphor for we sports fans. UC needs the following: winning Friday, Buckeys win over Mich, and Sooners win over Okla St. … but that then opens the door to the Irish. And how about the mountain of our two NFL teams winning this weekend?!!! Glad you enjoyed Otto’s outstanding photos. The guy is very good … and I appreciate him sharing with me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bengals won? How BOUT that?! I knew Miami was up on the Jets but then I only learned about the outcome hours later via text. I think that’s a winning streak for the Fins . . . shhhh

        Well, if the Irish finish ahead of the Bearcats despite losing to them, ya think maybe the committee is just proving how dumb it is to “vote” these teams to the playoffs?

        Liked by 1 person

          1. College football provides a built in path for the establishment, while teams like the Bearcats are usually fed a lie about being a part of the process. Thing is, a 2 loss Alabama team might STILL trump an undefeated Cincinnati.

            Doesn’t matter if Georgia is gonna play defense like this the rest of the way.

            But still . . .

            Liked by 1 person

                  1. Bama has a sketchy history at their place, but who knows? Maybe it doesn’t matter this year and maybe we’re destined to see at least one and probably two Bama vs Georgia tilts.

                    Like

  14. wow Frank great pictures and history of the mountains. It’s fun to see where the marble actually comes from. This remodel and picking stone has been something and sometimes I think quartz and ceramic tile is the way to go! And then again it’s sooo beautiful. thanks for the gift of the mountains! 💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy,
      Carrara was well up in the mountains – and I’m guessing, at least an hour (or more) drive. However, seeing the marble on the beach was quite the surprise! At least the west coast of our country has mountains in view, while the Gulf coast were I go is flat as a pancake.

      Like

  15. Frank, I always enjoy your thoughts but this week Otto’s shots have stolen my attention and heart. As you know, I love the mountains although if you can have water nearby, that’s a plus. But my heart lifts when I see and go into the mountains and there’s always a bit of sadness when I leave them.

    BTW, I got your email and look forward to that post. Thanks for letting me know and happy Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I really enjoyed the comment about the mountains and the joy in learning. That’s a great correlation. I always love Otto’s beautiful photography. Some of his photos from mountain peaks have left me breathless. I love my “local” mountains here in Southern California and I’m grateful for them. They aren’t the Alps, but I always that no matter what is going on, they are there, solid and enduring. Even our earthquakes shake us up pretty badly, but they add to the mountains. They are a spiritual touchstone for me in a way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Knowing that your love both mountains and the sea, no wonder why you haven’t moved! … and there is no doubt the the west coast of our country is much different from the east coast! I haven’t seen the Alps either, well .. except when flying over them. Hopefully I can get back to travels! Glad you enjoyed my metaphor regarding learning … and it’s not surprised we connected on that one. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed Ott’s fabulous photos. He could have sent a completely different set and I’m convinced they would have been just as good.

      Like

  17. I agree that mountains are fabulous. After living here in CA for a while, my sister from OH came for a visit. On car rides she was frequently turning in her seat to marvel at the far-off mountains. I’d forgotten how flat OH was in comparison.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. True. WV is nearby when you live in the southern part of Ohio. I’m from Cleveland, however. I still remember a time we were driving to Pittsburgh, missed a turn, and wound up meandering through wild WV. It was such a pretty, pleasant mistake. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Terri,
      A tip of the cap to the mountain girl … and your region was some good ones. Tis the season for the snow caps to reappear! Otto is in Norway, and I’m confident he loves the mountains of his country. However, he also travels the world. 🙂 But yes – I, too, think he loves mountains,

      Liked by 1 person

  18. What a peaceful and stirring thoughts about mountains, Frank. I haven’t spent much time around mountains, but was pretty impressed with the Appalachians when we stayed in Shenandoah National Park for a week. The mountains in Norway were spectacular when we spent a week there, too! And I flew over the Alps once, which took my breath away. They do seem to be places of deep spiritual connections.

    Like

  19. I enjoyed your thoughts about mountains–and the beautiful photography that accompanied them. Also remembering the mountains in southern Italy when we were there 2 1/2 years ago. Michigan is “relatively” flat, but some of our small hills are called “mountains”. They are amazingly beautiful to see. I wouldn’t mind living near them, but my husband prefers Lake Superior and doesn’t hesitate to say so!

    Like

  20. Frank, I love how you describe what mountains do for us- from physical to spiritual. It’s as if they are looking at us and beckoning us to come. The hills back home in West Virginia do that to me. Last summer I drove back home for the first time in a very long while. Oh, those beautiful hills!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Frank, SO wonderful to find you here at your new digs. I love the beach aspect of it; lately I’ve been missing the sands at Virginia Beach, where I lived for a few years. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’ve just resumed a regular schedule, after debating whether to close up shop or not.

    Mountains – we live in the foothills of the Alleghenies but there are still plenty of steep hills and high ridges to give us that mountain feel. We live on a wooded ridge, rarely see a sunset from here but love the rise and fall of the hills anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lynn,
      Our blog lives go way back, so I’m thrilled that we reconnected. Glad you are also posting again and sharing images of your wonderful garden. No matter the location, beaches are special places. For me, I want a long beach that is very walkable so I can let the mind roll to the rhythm of the waves. Mountains are also special. The Alleghenies may not be the Alps, but as you noted, their steepness and high ridges are mountains – and living within them is special. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  22. Have you ever wondered how much earthen material is in a mountain? – I loved this question, it made me thoughtful and smile too. Growing up in India the only mountains we climbed were to reach sacred destinations. Now I enjoy climbing or driving up them just for the nature of what they offer. A very thorough enjoyable post as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Matinee,
      Welcome to the sands of my cyberbeach. Writing the thoughts was how this journey started, and the rest is history. I invite you to read my first walk where I explain.. https://beachwalkreflections.wordpress.com/2020/10/20/1-introducing/ … Meanwhile, cheers to your joy for Ott’s outstanding photos. I can’t say enough how happy I am that he shared with me so I could share with readers. … and thank you for your thoughtful comments! Where are you located in the world? (I’m in Ohio, USA).

      Like

  23. This is a deep breath. I love the paragraph The mountain top is where philosophers go to sit and ponder. I feel that. When we lived in Yellowstone, I felt so refreshed to summit a mountain and do just that. Donna

    You blog is an oasis of elegance words to take others where we all need to go…nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Crispina,
      I realize there are not many mountains in your land, and what is mountainous to some is hilly to others. Tom, (in England) mentioned the mountains in Wales – so I searched for images – and I was impressed! I would say northern Scotland has small mountains. Thanks for sharing!

      Like

  24. Mountains are amazing, and I love living in and near them. I don’t like climbing them or having mountains of obstacles or work. I had never thought about the volume of a mountain or the surface area if laid flat. I love all the thinking that goes into all your posts. I think you missed your calling as an encyclopedia or dictionary writer. You cover all the meanings and innuendos of each word you write about. Always an interesting read, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marsha,
      Mountains provide both glories and obstacles. Oh, the obstacles at work. Major YUK! I’m glad those days are over. Then again, life provides many obstacles. Thanks for the kind words. In my previous blog life, I had a reputation of thoroughly researching a topic before posting. Although I do some research to fill in my thoughts, most of the walks are legit thoughts – but it takes time. Sometimes, the thinking is over multiple walks or on different days. Then comes the drafting. Meanwhile, enjoy the mountains in your area.

      Like

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