the world within us

I climbed a mountain, carrying a heavy bag full of love with me (literally) and in the high wind I turned around. And I saw a long-ago part of myself looking back at me from distant mountains, dark and misty mountains that looked like a magical kingdom. And I felt my heart in the wind.

Coming down from that hill, out of the weather, onto the tarsealed roads once more, felt like falling. Hours later, on the plains, in the darkness, I opened my door to a quiet night, windless, moonless, with cicadas gently singing their love. In that moment I landed again at last within my own inner ground.

I have several mountains inside me. I have hand-hewn roads, windswept grass, summer nights. Sometimes when I inhale, I smell wild honeysuckle and hot stones in a humid December afternoon decades ago. Other times, it's dusty carpet and old damp pine. I don't believe people stand in spaces, walk on earth, look up at the sky. I believe we are within place. We are nature. We breathe the sky, we breathe the forest fragrances. Pollen and cloud go through us, becoming part of us. Mountains press against the outer curve of our being.

So what happens to a person when they live in a concrete and glass city? Or a dirt and cardboard city? What happens to their body and their soul, breathing pollution, bashing always against hard angles of concrete?

I climbed a mountain and I never really came down.


  1. So lovely. I find myself looking for your posts, sometimes, when I need something to nourish my soul. I feel cities aren't quite right, like maybe they could have been made differently? Nature cities. Not even sure what that would be exactly, I just knew that the city made me tired in some deep way, though I loved it too.

  2. I believe this too
    beautifully expressed

  3. So beautiful! I do feel sorry for people who never get the chance to get out into nature.

  4. Beautiful photographs. I use to live on the edge of the desert, and I do feel different in the city. There are less birds due to stray cats, and no rabbits, because the walls don't have open spaces for wildlife from the mountain to pass through. I tend my garden. Fortunately for the residents, many years ago, they stopped people from building on its mountains, so I look at mountains from three sides, and can benefit from the nearby trails in the cooler weather. But your piece is much deeper than my ramblings. xoxo Su

  5. Beautiful words and sentiments Sarah.

  6. Your thoughts and photos are so beautiful, Sarah. ♥ Now that I am middle-aged, I hear other middle-aged women saying that they now have clarity; they know who they are. I don't know what those expressions mean. I have always been me, haven't I? Filled with sunny days and storms and the miles of trail I have walked and the oceans I have breathed.