Death of a Mountain
Mountains rise to touch the sky
So high only eagles can touch their peaks
Crowned by clouds and steeped in ice
Crossing the boundary between earth and heaven
Like a million ants they came
Great lines of flesh and steel
They shattered and stripped it all away
Now there is only emptiness
I have spent some time in Tucson, Arizona. A beautiful city by all accounts, and surrounded by mountains. I love mountains, love their majesty, their imposing beauty, their sheer scale. They seem like places of magic and gods. It feels like just by hiking through them, you might gain some of their ancient wisdom. Some of the mountains in Tucson have been stripped and there are all at very stages of it. It is disconcerting because you’ll see these low, sandy plateaus and suddenly realize that at one point it was a gigantic mountain. You look at the people working on the plateaus and all you can wonder is what would it be like? To know bit by bit you’re moving a mountain, literally tearing it down to the ground?
I couldn’t do it. There is any number of unpleasant things that I could imagine myself doing under certain circumstances, but I don’t think there’s any force on earth or hell that could make me do it. There are few things in this life that I consider unforgivable, but killing a mountain is one of them.
This post was inspired by the documentary “Surviving Progress” (available on Netflix) and by my own time in Tucson, which is a frequent travel spot for me.