One of my childhood memories is of Mountains. There was something majestically mysterious about them and I admittedly had a little bit of fear about them. I’m not sure how this fear developed but vividly remember an unpleasant encounter that made it worse.
My maternal grandmother lived in the city of Koforidua, a two-hour drive from Ghana’s capital, Accra. A prominent natural feature of this city is the gorgeous ‘Obuo Tabri’ Mountain. This mountain is considered sacred. From grandma’s residence this imposing Mountain offered a spectacular view.
Traveling to Koforidua using one particular route takes you through several mountainous ranges. As a child, I had heard frightening stories of accidents and ‘unexplained incidents’ about these Mountains.
I remember how my mom especially, would tell us to hush while driving through these winding one-lane mountain roads that were very tiny and so close to the edge. Sometimes, as we snaked our way to higher levels, we would see other vehicles, seemingly reduced in size making their way to the top. Other times vehicles that made it to the top would triumphantly look down at us making it to the top. This was a ‘Gulliver’s Travel’ experience captured in time during that segment of the journey.
During one of our family’s visit to grandma, as we traveled in a torrential rain, the vehicle somehow got stuck in the mud off of the roadway, at the foot of one of the mountains. Attempts to get the vehicle back on the road were unsuccessful. I recall walking uphill halfway, in the heavy downpour, being picked up by a stranger, and transferring to a public transport on top of the hill, in which we continued the journey to grandma’s.
After Grandma heard about our ordeal, she told us a story of how God protects his people illustrating it with a song I remember to this day.
Today, I maintain a healthy admiration for Mountains. I still think they’re majestically mysterious. Although not necessarily sacred, their grandeur reflects one of the natural wonders the Creator sprinkled on this earth, to show how sacred and creative He is.
Recently, I was at America’s most visited national park, the Great Smoky Mountains and had a wonderful time of retreat and reflection. By the way, I was surprised not the see any smoke. This magnificent ancient Mountain is replete with rich history and remnants of the Southern Appalachian mountain culture.
It was after I returned home and relished the thought of going back that I dislodged my latent interest for Mountains.
Now I know why it feels like the Mountains keep calling me. Also, I now understand why I often visit the mountains around here. Further, I have started nursing thoughts of adding climbing Mount Everest to my Bucket list.
There’s just something about Mountains. Like Maria – Julia Andrews – song in ‘The Sound of music’:
“The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music
My heart wants to sing every song it hears
My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds that rise from the lake to the trees
My heart wants to sigh like the chime that flies from a church on a breeze
To laugh like a brook as it trips and falls over stones on its way
To sing through the night like a lark who is learning to prey
I go to the hills when my heart is lonely
I know I will hear what I’ve heard before
My heart will be blessed with the sound of music
And I’ll sing once more”.
I’m going to start Mountain ‘hunting’, and hope to sing some songs during my discoveries.
Do you have any Mountain stories?