View from a mountain top over a lake with the sun setting yellow
roof of the world
View from a mountain top over a lake with the sun setting yellow
roof of the world

I sit on the top of the world. The sun slowly descends through the afternoon hours, it’s yellow glow warming the wall which in turn warms my aching back. I have climbed 6 hours to get here. My calves burn, my arms ache. Admittedly, others take less time to achieve the same goal, those others being younger, fitter and/or slimmer than me. But it took me 6 hard won hours of sweat and struggle for the climb and now I honour that. Now I am here. 1691 metres above sea level, after climbing a steep 1250 vertical metres from the lakes edge. A valley of extraordinary beauty lays before me. A deep, clear and cold lake lies at the foot of the mountain I just climbed. Tiny sail boats like white ants make arrow-like trails through the still waters. Mountains of lush green steepen from its shores, the biggest of which proudly sport white snow caps, even this far into summer (mid-June). As I watch, the valley shadows deepen and lights begin to flicker on slowly on in the village below, while up here on top of the world the sun is still shining bright. Things seem different up here. Colours are more diffuse and I swear food tastes better at this altitude. Regular trials of daily life seem far away from this perspective. I have rarely felt this kind of space – a seeming endlessness which I have only experienced in the desert or floating on a huge ocean. A sense of the magnitude of nature and my own smallness among it all. Mountains are the reigning giant behemoths of time. Constantly growing whilst seemingly immovable and beyond change they symbolise everything my tiny human mind cannot grasp. They remind me of my own mortality while at the same time reminding me of the extraordinary eternal beauty in this world, of which I only scratch the surface. My tiny ant like existence is a mere blip on the radar. And that is a good thing.

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