Viewing the Spanish Peaks Mountain Range, from our loft window, there was relief knowing I am not as far from sailing the great oceans of our world as I once feared. The old downhill ski resort clearly shows the trails of a once thriving playground for winter sports. From about 15 miles away the scenery is a reminder of how I connected sailing and surfing to skiing during my two years on the slopes of New Hampshire. The drudgingly slow and breathtaking steps when hiking up a mountain has some semblance to sailing upwind in a stiff blow when it is 2 am and all you really want to do is climb into your bunk. To get that extra 1/4 knot of speed you crank the winch. Your inner voice repeats a common refrain, “just keep moving, slowly and steadily, you are almost there.”
Unlike the rise and fall of the ocean’s swell the mountains are solidly held in place or so it may seem. The earth is in constant motion. It perpetually spins on its own axis while traveling around the sun causing winds, currents and temperatures to change. Inevitably this results in the evolving landscapes around the world. An earthquake is an example of how pressure from deep beneath the earth’s surface creates one of the most wondrous and destructive forces, illustrating the ever-changing motion of mother earth.
In this manner, it can be argued that those majestic snow-capped mountains seen outside my upstairs windows, are not static. Rather, due the the earth’s vibrations, they can be considered standing waves whose movement can only be detected by a sophisticated seismograph. In contrast, sailors and surfers expect a wave to continue its path. Without warning about the second the wave is expected to crest, it seems to pause, leaving the boat or surfer hovering in curious wonderment before the wave returns to its destined crash into a thunderous roar.
Do the waves actually stop moving? Do the mountains really move? Or, do I just need to rationalize my new lifestyle 2000 miles away from the ocean’s door?