The mountains ~ just as Robert Muir said are a place to go to recapture your soul.
So what do they mean to someone like myself who lives 24/7/365 in them. Some people find tranquility in going to the beach, a hike in the mountains, a foray in the desert, a walk in a park, a trip to a lake, or several other relaxing places. In short people find rest and restoration in many places but not as complete and fulfilling as being in the mountains.
At night the stars are infinite, the air pure and clean, the night sounds intriguing, and the sense of vastness overwhelming. In the winter you can almost hear a single snow flake fall to the ground. In the day the numerous kinds of wild life species, the tree's, the vista's the sights and sounds and smells envelope you and heal every part of your soul. The views of mountains, meadows, parks are awe inspiring and draw you to the Creator in smallness, humility and reverence regardless of your religious persuasion. The smell of a wet forest at high altitudes, the sweet smell of balsam fir trees, the fresh earth, all speak to the very heart of your existence. The sound of the birds twittering, a deer huffing, or an elk bugling on the thin air raise the hair on the back of your neck.
If a weekend visit to the mountains can recapture your soul then imagine how spending all your time in the mountains can minister to you. If you happen to be Christian (as I am) a walk in the mountains is special. You can actually feel Jesus walking with you. If you listen carefully you can hear him speak to you in all the life forms that surround you. The gurgling of springs, the forms of life that abounds, the awareness of everything around you being billions of years old by a God that cares for even the smallest of creatures that are around you. All it requires of you is to simply be quiet, listen and observe.
Yes the beach, desert, parks, lakes are all relaxing but if you really want balm for your soul, and as Robert Muir says ~ 'recapture your soul', then time spent in the mountains not only humbles you but soothes your very soul itself. When I used to go to the beach I would look at a hand full of sand and realize I was only one small grain on a beach in the overall scheme of life. Now as I walk through the woods in the mountains I no longer feel like a grain of sand but as a real part of God's whole creation. I also feel really blessed by God.
If that doesn't move your soul to a better place there has to be something wrong because it is exactly like Muir says ~ a place to recapture your very soul.
So that is why I love the mountains. I used to live and work in large cities with all the city smells and hectic busyness and congestion. I would get caught up in it just like all the rest hurrying from one place to another. It is a place to get lost and be lost, all at the same time. Not so in the mountains. Living in the mountains is difficult to say the least but the restoration is worth any difficulty you can encounter. It is just different and you can feel it to the depths of your very being. I love the mountains.