We have all a mountain to climb. Sometimes we get to choose which mountain to challenge. Some other times we aren’t offered such a choice. But of one thing we can be sure. We have all to work our way up, no matter how high or how far the mountain top seems.
This is true when we start writing a new novel. This is true when we start a new story with someone we’ve just met. It’s true of happy periods and sad ones. We can only proceed one word after the other. One tentative step at a time. Really, often even the brightest people among us move like blinds groping in a dark room.
This is why it’s so important to keep in mind that the destination is only a small part of the journey, and that at every step along the way we can capture interesting snapshots.
In fact, it’s not by chance that Mahatma Gandhi said: Live as if you were to die tomorrow, and learn as if you were to live forever.
It is therefore with this idea of ‘snapshots along the way’ that I’m going to share with you some pictures of the place where I live, and of its surroundings. Pictures of those small things that help make my journey a pleasant one. And often inspire me.
This is the view from my kitchen window, In some ways it reminds me of the much more famous Uluru mountain in Australia. I know I know, I don’t live in a desert, pretty much the opposite in fact. Besides, the Australian mountain has a decidedly odd shape. But one makes do with what he has…
Monte Rosa – the queen of the Alps
The mountain I see from my kitchen window is only 3000 feet high. Granted, not so impressive. But it’s enough a half hour drive to get a view of the Princess of the Alps, Monte Rosa. This is a picture I took some years ago from a panoramic point more or less at 8200 feet of altitude. The place is called White Rocks, though I don’t know why, given that I can’t see any white rock around there.
I love hiking up these mountains. That’s my personal way to keep my balance so to speak. It’s sweaty and tiring at times, but it’s also incredibly satisfying.
With a half hour drive in the opposite direction I can reach Orta lake. Its shores offer several charming spots–irrespective of the season, I find this lake particularly relaxing. The only drawback has to do with the traffic. At times, especially during the weekend, some of the towns resting along the shores get quite crowded.
But Mondays and Tuesdays are great. You can hear the lapping of the water and forget about cars and noisy tourists.
Climate change is a reality. Of course it is. But a snowfall in early spring has really nothing to do with climate change and pollution. It’s just part and parcel of the magic of being alive and sensing on this wonderful planet of ours.
I took this picture a couple of years ago. From a bridge, late in the afternoon. It was pretty cloudy but for a while the sun popped up from behind the clouds and cheered the landscape up.
The park in my town
I’m not particularly fond of towns and cities. But now and then I find myself staring at a corner of my town with a sort of amazement. Here it was in summer and the interplay of the dusk with the streetlamps lighting up got my attention. Besides, luckily in that moment there was nobody around.
Light and shadows
This was taken during the winter. My wife and me went for a hike, and on our way back, with the sun already behind the nearest mountains, we stopped to enjoy the contrasts of light and colors that even a winter day can offer.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the old saying goes. And that’s certainly true. But as you can probably tell from the pictures I just shared, I tend to have a strong penchant for natural settings.
This is so because, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, Things are pretty, graceful, rich, elegant, handsome, but, until they speak to the imagination, not yet beautiful.
And you? What are the things that speak to your imagination?