Climb Every Mountain

Evan Travers, Climb Every Mountain, flickr

“Have you ever watched the sunrise? Not over luxurious tropical greenery which knows all about the sun, which lives for the sun and anticipates its appearance with academic certitude. And not over a calm, grassy forest meadow, which is itself a particle of sunlight, which believes in the sun and experiences its rising as the most intimate of feelings. We had in mind sunrise over the lifeless rocky cliffs of the north. What good, you might ask, is life to the dead? What would the cold rocks want with the sun? The rocks lie there calmly, ponderously, monotonously in the depths of night, remote under their covering of ice and snow; the rocks greet the grey light of the brief day with indifference, their breasts insensitive to the keen blasts of the wind. But still the sun rises over them. A feeble imitation of the torrid, fructifying sun or gently caressing sun we know, a sun which would strike fear and anguish into the subtropical foliage or the forest glade. And suddenly the cliffs change. The rocks become pink, moss and lichen appear, and a rather unprepossessing insect crawls out of a cleft in to join in the brief holiday. Perhaps it is not even aware of where the light has come from, or why the wind has died down, or why its indifference to the cold has been replaced by a new feeling, or rather, sensation, of warmth and calm. But if the southern sun, or even the mild temperate sun, were to rise over the northern cliffs, it would mean disaster. The cold rocks would crack, the lichen would dry out, and the unprepossessing insect would die. The cold north needs a cold sun.”