Sometimes I forget how wonderful mountains are. I get caught up in whatever’s going on–life, that next bounce of the four-square ball, whatever–and I forget about the beauty that exists outside of those thoughts.
This weekend’s retreat included lots of great time with students, good talks/sermons, games galore, funny skits, and opportunities to meet new people. And wedged between all of that, there were mountain moments.
Whenever I live near the mountains (or visit them), I try not to get used to them. It’s so easy to become immune to good things when you’re surrounded by them. And even though I try not to forget, I still find myself looking up and thinking, “There’s a mountain right behind that kid! Wow!!” Good thing I have a somewhat short attention span. If I didn’t get caught up in life, I’d end up staring at the mountains all day. I’d either be totally insane or that really cool hippie who’s happy to talk to you about anything as long as you don’t get in the way of her view.
The mountains in western Virginia and North Carolina are their own kind of special, too. I’ve lived in/near the Rockies and the Alps, and I wouldn’t ever complain about being near them. They’re awe-inspiring and make for excellent hiking and skiing, among other things. But the Appalachian Mountains are cozy somehow. They’ll swallow you whole if you don’t know what you’re doing just like more imposing-looking mountains, but they give off a welcoming vibe while you’re getting lost or running from a bear or whatever you’re doing. I’m all for that.
When I wasn’t worried about having enough cell phone battery if I got lost or about saying the right thing and other leader-ish details, that’s where my head was this weekend. I was being welcomed by the not-so-giant mountains of western Virginia. It was nice.