Finding spirit in the mountains of my home

By Samantha Lego
@samanthalego

In the solitude of mountains, we find our salvation and our peace. In the infiniteness, we find our humility.

Everyone is searching for the thing that connects them to that sense of other. That closeness with the universe that makes you feel at times wholly complete but also entirely insignificant.

Some people find their solace in religion, others in spirituality and devotion.

I found mine in the vastness and glory of mountains.

Humbled by the horizon, my thoughts became prayers as they found their way into the arches of Nature’s cathedrals, leaving me awestruck and enveloped in an endless embrace.

They are my fortress and my strength. Elevation is my meditation, each step forced to be mindful and present. When I climb, I am closer to the heavens, opening my soul to the world. Mountains are the sacred grounds where I choose to worship, simultaneously lifting me up, while also rooting me down. Every nuance of devotion and piety spilling out as I traverse ridge lines and summit steep slopes.

They inspire fear and awe as easily as they offer tranquility and peace. The silhouettes are majestic; their stoic, rugged peaks as unattainable as any god.

Mountains are my religion, my church and my temple. A sacred space for those made into believers.

The hike is my pilgrimage, scrambles my penance, perspective my reward.

Muscles straining, sweat dripping. My elation is enlightenment.

For centuries, people have viewed mountains as places of spiritual healing. Traditional Incan shamanism believes that, not only are they connected to one another, but that they share and transmit tremendous amounts of energy which, when channeled, can lead to increased self-awareness, stability and growth.

Which is why for just as long, people have turned to mountains as their form of escape; running towards the fortitude of these stone monasteries, only to find themselves amidst the most gruelling healing process Nature possesses.

Mountains possess a quiet understanding of the tribulations we experience. They offer an outlet for frustration, allowing us to exert ourselves into a state where the pain and stress that weigh us down is lifted away the higher we ascend.

There is a peaceful satisfaction that emerges deep from within, along with overwhelming humility when I find myself surrounded by the majesty of great heights. It is the most divining experience.

Mountains are the anchor that root us to this earth, lending us their strength, their immovability. The grace and ease in which they weather the turbulent and volatile world we live in is enough to warrant the frenetic devotion bestowed on them.

They are the quiet diviners of my essence, the wildest part of my soul.

Samantha Lego is a recent deportee falling back in love with her home country. She enjoys poking fun at Vancouver stereotypes while ignoring the fact that she is one. You can usually find her drinking beer on weeknights (for science!) and laughing obnoxiously at her own bad puns. Read more of her writing here: samanthalego.com