Canto

Mountain Song

Qomolangma (Mount Everest).

I took this photo in September 2019, on the Tibetan side of the Himalayas. The tour guide told us that what we were seeing is rare: a full view of the mountain from foot to peak, without any cloud covering. God's blessing to us.

Some time ago, I received a vision from the Holy Spirit while worshipping in church. I was standing on a mountain peak taller than Qomolangma, above the cloud cover, looking at range upon range of mountains stretching in all directions. There was nothing but earth beneath me, and sky above me, and the presence of the Lord all around me. I looked at the mountains, and it seemed that I beheld them in their primordial, pre-Fall state: pristine mountains before man's foot tread on them, mountains that only beheld the face of God. I saw these pristine mountains between cloud and sky, and something in my heart ached with terrible longing.

"Lord, this is beautiful, so beautiful," I said.

The Holy Spirit said, "Behold."

And, from horizon to horizon, the mountains began to sing.

In church, I remember falling facedown on the ground, my body and soul reverberating with this titanic song. It was an undescribable experience, like beholding a vast beauty that exceeds human dimensions and comprehension. The song and the vision lasted only a short time, but even now I can hear/feel/sense the echo of it, and my soul aches again.

O God, when you restore creation, I want to come back to this place, and hear the mountains singing their ancient praises to you.

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements -- surely you know!
Or who has stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

—Book of Job, ch. 38, v. 4-7

Peat Bog on Jæren (1900). Kitty Kielland.
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Hiking in the Grampians.
Photographed 29th September, 2017.

Four kinds of landscape:

landscapes in which one may travel,
landscapes which can be contemplated,
landscapes in which one may ramble,
landscapes in which one may dwell.

—attributed to Guo Xi (c. 1020-c.1090)

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At the Pinnacles.
Photographed 24th April, 2013.

Source unattributed (via Tumblr).

Source unattributed (via Tumblr).

This day I walked up a hill road until

I found a break in the hedgerow and a place with a big view. I could look way down into the valley and almost hear the fever of the jigs and reels, while the silent sea of heaven rolled overhead.

— James Gurney,
"The Hills above Clonmel"

Vega nightfishes in the Great Sky River. Copyright © 2021

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