The Snowy Ranges

A photograph of the Snowy Ranges, a mountainous range almost entirely covered in snow. An iceboard is standing upright on the ground to the right side of the page, its shadow cast to the left on the snow.

by Nina Greenhill

To the place that calls me, where my heart finally beats, where my breath returns steady; where the quiet is real and strain is gone, where my self will rest, where my soul will live on.

It has my love free from duress. It waits and understands. It will call, and it will hope that I will trek back, that I will move tracing down its snowy track.

It is a silent affair twixt mountain and I, an understanding one – steady and constant.
It is a place I withdraw into though hundreds of kilometres away.

It is an ancient being, the mountain itself. It is a place where one can exist entirely as oneself. It calls for those who will watch from the summit, who will sit and enjoy it.
It is a place, nothing more and nothing less: it is crisp and it is cold and it sunburns terribly, but it sits and it lasts and it gives.
It gives so much.

It is an environment to be feared and to be fearless. It is one to relish the peace, the solitude, the utter acceptance of those who take its way of life. 

It summons strength and you push through. 

Fresher air one can never find if one is not in the highland winds.

The bond of the mountain comes from the beginning of time but only those open to it will understand the moment where the meaning of life is clear.

I find it at the top of the double chair lift when strapping my board, my skis, my helmet.

The steps I take are these:

  1. Sit
  2. Take a breath
  3. Fix your goggles and look around,
    the majesty over the drop, the rescinding ranges,

the broken chain of mountains

  1. Breathe. Repeat steps two and three
    until you throttle down the slope again.
  2. Go down the ignored wonder of the world.
  3. Get on the lift and do it again.

The meaning of life then is to be, and to one who is up on the mountain, to that one, being is enough.

Living is simple – breathe in, breathe out.

On that mountain that calls each day, where rent is steeper than the run, truth evolves. Truth sees and truth breathes. Minds stand still and I can just be. It is the place that calls me, where my heart is beating, where I can breathe steady, where I can finally be quiet and everything loosens – where my thoughts just stop. 

It is where my self is resting and where my soul lives on.

This is the place where I call home.