Mountains Induce Modesty
“Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, and a powerful solace in them. At bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent conviction - so easy to lapse into - that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. By speaking of greater forces than we can possibly invoke, and by confronting us with greater spans of time than we can possibly envisage, mountains refute our excessive trust in the man-made. They pose profound questions about our durability and the importance of our schemes. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us.” ― Robert Macfarlane
It was another fine morning at Thousand Island Lake at the base of Mt. Banner, in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The air was crisp and the lake waters were still, as the morning dew saturated everything around me. I considered the trials I faced over the previous days to stand here in this glorious moment with glorious light, and I was certain that my efforts were worth it, if for no other reason than to return me to the correct amount of human modesty.