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The Mountains are Calling

By Rev. Joan Kessler

Matthew 17:1-9

Mountains are a most auspicious feature of our landscape. Humans have been fascinated by the majestic beauty and rugged antiquity that reminds us that the earth is a very old place. As I was considering my reflection for this Transfiguration Sunday, I googled why do humans climb mountains and the answer was painfully obvious and succinct: because it is a difficult task and humans delight in overcoming obstacles.

So, I thought about that answer and said to myself… hmm, they might have a point. There are certain people who are just drawn to experiencing wild and rugged terrains. You can’t overcome an obstacle if you aren’t prepared to climb it; to face it head on.

I spent some time this past week with the writings of American outdoor enthusiast, John Muir. Muir was born in 1838, in Scotland, and spent his adult working life in California. He was a scientist, an environmental philosopher, essayist and poet. He founded the Sierra Club and is considered one of the fathers of the US National Parks. You may have never heard of John Muir before but I suspect you are familiar with one of his most famous quotes: The mountains are calling and I must go. This quote has created a whole “mountain” industry of merchandise to buy: coffee mugs, t-shirts, posters. It’s not hard to find this quote. But what I learned this we