I remember the mountains in Nepal. The sense of wonder that there is something so tall and majestic.
We had been walking for a week when I had my first glimpse of a big one. The day was overcast and we’d finally hiked into the main mountain range. Because of the cloud, the main massif had been hidden for most of the day when something subconscious grabbed my attention. For some reason, I chose at that moment to crane my neck above the cloud line to see the enormous peak towering above.
You have to understand that I come from Australia, a land for the most part excessively flat. It makes no sense to look for mountains above the clouds here when they are so relatively insignificant. Yet on that day I did look and for the first time got some sense of the sheer physical presence into which I was hiking.
Later in the trip I distinctly recall marvelling again at the beauty of the environment in that country. Descending from the Throng-La Pass, we hiked through a valley. Across the gap was another magnificent mountain range, tops shrouded in cloud and there, above the clouds, stood another mountain range on top. Both obviously the same, it was astonishing to see their immensity; both halves large enough to stand their ground within the ranks of Australian peaks.
The scene made me think of imagery from Monkey Magic. Of a land above the clouds from which mystical beings peer down and occasionally interact with the mortals who dwell below. Perhaps it is this mixture of imagination and physical beauty that produced such stories in the first place.