The Secret Life of Mountains

Stop hiding from the calling to rise,
for you were always destined to become a mountain.
A range of foothills living in the shadows at your feet
can never meet you eye to eye.

There is life at every elevation,
and different beings grow at every height.
But you must make do with conversations with the sky.
And with the birds who need to rest their wings,
which you enjoy because it ignites an ancient memory
of lighter ways.

You are tethered now and immense,
and your weight keeps the mainland stable.
Few ever encounter the entire expanse of your being.
All you witness from this vantage point only adds
to the substance of the body you now inhabit,
birthing up instead of out.

But some boulders still fly off of your sides sometimes
when you’re longing to connect.

And you make peace with the deaths
when their voices join your own,
and their loved ones don’t blame you
but seek their memories in your caves,
happy for their afterlife in your majesty,
closer than they would be elsewhere.

You tower over so many still asleep,
casting bigger shades below because you have to grow.
Many appreciate the reprieve from the sun,
which is agreeable enough for you to be a part of.

But they never understand the mystery of the clouds:
the collection of your tears and every breath
you held back to protect them from the storm
because you remember every explorer who fell off your edges,
drowning in the sea at your base,
because even in search of stars,
he couldn’t help falling towards the love,
just like you did to get here.

This is why you came to be a mountain:
to be a better place for those who fall
and cannot help but reach for higher ground,
because horizons always pull at the heart of a seeker
who is compelled to search for the lighter life
they, too, remember.

And Love seeks to know itself,
or no one would be a self with a different name.

Made to individuate from the whole,
you tremble violently trying not to take up too much space.
As if it will keep others safe from catastrophes.
But it only causes more quakes.

And you can’t keep on erupting
in order to reduce what you are
because a mountain is secretly becoming a world.
The casualties are not your fault,
for creation is a violent act,
no matter how long it takes.

You are matter pounded together over ages
to make a solid foundation big enough to hold the holy.
The call lives quiet, thundering in the center of your stones,
speaking to every dreamer who feels too heavy for the earth
with no idea of the marvelous world they, too, shall become
on the path of love growing in your midst.

© 2022, Sheya Forest

Art: Mountain Tree by Elena Dudina

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