I have seen the most beautiful sights over the course of the last few days. I write this as we’re driving through California, through a series of enormous snow-covered mountains that are comparable even to the Grand Canyon, which we saw yesterday. In the presence of such a landscape, it is difficult to find a more inspiring topic to write about. It occurs to me, however, that I don’t know why I find these things to be so intriguing or majestic. I don’t think the animals that live in these mountains really take note of the visual appearance of it all. So why do I find them to be so inspiring?
My first thought was that the source of this inspiration is the untouched nature of these huge mountains, with peaks that must have looked the same for thousands of years. But if that were true, I would be just as moved by the Sahara Desert.
I think the answer lies within my chest. I believe I was created, and our species as a whole seems to have a well-developed awareness of the rest of creation. Life is simply a series of lessons and tests. I think that these mountains, full of life and beauty, serve to sculpt our understanding of the world we live in. Our attraction to the lush forests and snowy peaks is evidence of the fact that we like the lessons that they offer us. But I think we would value the mountains far less if not for the deserts. If we pretend that life’s deserts do not exist, we are not only robbing ourselves of a full appreciation for the mountains, but also rendering ourselves incapable of dealing with the test of reality.