The Mountain

Continued From The Woodcutter

I am home. I am shelter. I am the silent companion. I am the watcher. I am the secret bearer. I am the keeper.

I am home to everyone. I do not choose anyone on priority. I do not limit the members of my family. I do not differentiate on the basis of the qualities one possesses. For me, all are same. A long time ago, I was all alone, barren, just another piece of solid rock. Then I attained a color, a slight tinge of green which spread all over me, covered me in itself. I don’t know how it chose me, but it felt good to be of some use finally. The greenery expanded, its roots deepened in my body and it grew taller everyday, until it covered all of me. Then, the creatures began to arrive. All sorts of creatures, some could fly, some could kill, some could crawl and each one of them had certain uniqueness among them. I welcomed them all. The last I wanted to be was lonely again. With all this activity in and around me, I felt alive. I felt as if I was the one flying in the sky or diving in the stream. I was home, and in that moment, I knew I will always be one.

I am shelter, to many. In hundreds and thousands of days that I have lived so far, I have been a shelter to many who pass through to me. I never ask them where they came from. I never ask them where they are going to. I believe I am not the one who can ask questions. If I could, I would have asked questions from the grass that grew on me first of all and made me feel alive. Questioning creates distance, this much I have learned by observing those who shelter on me. Sometimes, I observe confusing faces, not sure of where they are going and they end up spending so many days here that they do not want to continue their journey. As if, their motive gets changed. As if, suddenly, the comforts of a shelter overshadow the experiences of a journey. If I could speak, I would have told them to carry on with their journeys. I am not a destination. I can never be a destination but only an experience, and sometimes a shelter.

I am the silent companion to those who live on me. Their roots were entangled so deeply within me that it was impossible for any natural power to take them away from me. I am witness to trees hundreds of years old, still standing tall on me. I am proud of our relationship with each other. The trees strengthen me and I provide them stability in return. But, time is like a sea wave. It comes in abundance of happiness and sorrow, in turn. My days of sorrow began with the dawn of a new species, the one that walks to two feet. They are dangerous of them all because no other species had in its own power to injure me. But this species, it is continuously killing me, everyday. The problem is not that I cannot grow back what I lose. The problem is that I don’t get enough time to do so. Everything has always been so silent around me. But, nowadays there are noises of people who walk through me with axes in their hands and leave the marks of death and destruction on me. Like my all previous companions, I chose to be silent. I will not fight back.

Sometimes, I watch some people admiring me, caring about me, loving me in return. Do they love me for my silence? Do they love me because I do not fight back? Do they love me because they are scared of my strength and vastness? But the truth is that I have become weak. I do not feel the strength in me anymore. I feel hollow. I watch myself from the past when I was strong because of being a home and shelter to those who always remained unknown to me. I welcomed life as happily as I welcomed death. I heard the sounds of new born as much as I heard the painful sighs of those who died on me. Every species that lived, left its mark on me, and I watched. I am not a possessor, I cannot possess anything. I sometimes laugh on people who create their homes on me and think it is forever. Nothing is forever. They should feel lucky they are not me. It would have become difficult for them to suffer so much and still stand tall against all odds. People are fragile, I watch them cry in the shadows of trees sometimes, I watch them pray for strength, I watch them making merry when they cut yet another tree on me and sometimes, I see few people getting sad.

Sad people sometimes sit in silence. I don’t know what to tell them, I don’t know how to. I think they should just see me and understand. That would be enough. There is only one message that I can give them: no matter what happens, stay strong! Long time ago, people used to talk to me. They used to tell me their secrets. Once a woman told me that she couldn’t become a mother, there was something wrong with her. I could have helped her. I could have given her something that would correct whatever was wrong with her, but only if her husband had not cut some very unique trees on me. Nature has a remedy for everything. I feel bad for her. She was just like I am at the moment, barren, helpless and hopeless. She shared her secret with me; her tears have moistened the soil on me many times.

I keep not only secrets but many other things as well. There is death that I have kept inside for thousands of years. The bones of the animals that died are hidden deep in me. The roots of the trees that were cut are still buried in me. Though most of it is breaking apart but I am trying my best to not let it go, I am trying my best to stand strong and come out of it. I can still fix everything but I need solitude. I need to be alone, not for a week or month or a year, but forever. Let me just be with myself and everything will be corrected. Do not come to me at all. Even if you come to me, do not come to me for killing. Come to me for talking to me; come to me to share your secrets with me. Come to me to observe me and getting inspired from me. Or if nothing else, come to me to bury your past, just as he came, the one whose axe is still buried deep inside me.

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