The Cruel Mountain
When someone dies in a mountain tragedy it is easy to say something like "the mountains have been cruel.” To the fledgling mountaineer, it looks like they have been. But take us out of the picture and avalanches happen, rock slides happen, and bad weather happens. The mountains just are.
If we are going to anthropomorphize mountains in any way, or make them sentient, they are more like a kind mentor with a very soft voice. A whisper guiding us to the correct action. In our youthful exuberance we fail to hear because we “think” we know better. If something bad happens we blame the mountain. This is not being an adult. It also denies a deep potential to which we have access.
The mountains are never to blame. We just fail to listen deeply enough to ourselves and the mountain. The quiet voice guides every step. When we listen, we are safe. When our decisions are based in over rationalization, social pressure, the strut of hubris or arrogance, we put our well-being at risk.
To say the mountains are cruel is a victim mentality. We go to the mountains so that we learn not to be victims of anything. We go there to learn resilience. Sometimes our lessons in resilience are deeper than we bargained for, if this happens, we must be humble in order to heal. When we heal, we know.