Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Illusion of Mountains

When I leave the office I drive west down Highway 237. A portion of the drive gives me a nice view of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Last night, due to the nuances of atmosphere and distortion the mountians appeared to loom up into the sky, as if they were far greater than they really are.

I enjoyed the illusion of great height for my beloved Santa Cruz Mountains and it made me think of other illusions of mountains.

I thought of the troubles and challenges we sometimes face, how the angle of our view, the conditions of our environment, the tricks of perspective can all make those mountains seem massive. They can appear, to us, from our limited perspective, as towering edifices of stone and forest. And yet, when it comes down to it, they are only a few thousand feet tall.

When you climb in those mountains, no matter the weather conditions, no matter the perspectives, no matter the illusions and the tricks of the eye - they are still the same height. The daunting trails of a wintry day are the same trails of a summers day.

I think that is something to keep in mind when we deal with mountains and the illusion of mountains in our life.

*And now, for something completely different. Are you familiar with the old chestnut that, if there is a big enough earthquake, California will fall into the ocean? The faults along the coast of California are upthrust faults. California is not receding. California is growing. In the event of a major earthquake - it will get taller and rise farther from the ocean.

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