Dawn on Kanchenjunga.
Darjeeling, November 2018.
Today, the 11th of December is International Mountain Day, and to signify this year's theme of #MountainsMatter , I quote British explorer and writer Francis Younghusband's words on the glimpse of sunrise over Kanchenjunga - "Through the rent in the fleecy veil he sees clear and clean against the intense blue sky the snowy summit of Kinchinjunga, the culminating peak of lesser heights converging upward to it and all ethereal as spirit, white and pure in the sunshine, yet suffused with the delicatest hues of blue and mauve and pink. It is a vision of color and warmth and light - a heaven of beauty, love, and truth. But what really thrills us is the thought that, incredibly high though it is, yet that heaven is part of earth, and may conceivably be attained by man. There is about Kinchinjunga the calm and repose of stupendous upward effort successfully achieved.
Glowing in the heart of the mountain is the pure flame of undaunted aspiration, and it sets something aglow in our hearts also which burns there unquenchably for the rest of the days. We see the attainment of the highest in the physical domain, and it stirs us to achieve the highest in the spiritual. Between ourselves and the mountains is the kinship of common effort towards high ends." - 'The Heart of Nature' (1921)
And only when each one of us is inspired to attain one's highest do our societies progress, and this is why #MountainsMatter to me.
[FR] Deux petites filles - elles sont venues me parler alors que je prenais en photo les fleurs sauvages - qui escaladaient le mur avec leurs petits doigts plein de bourgeons - en face du magasin où leur maman coupait les cheveux des passants - dans une ruelle qui s'engouffre entre les maisons et descend dans la vallée - au milieu de Darjeeling ville perchée sur la montagne - cernée par les champs de thé et la brume. Comme j'aimerais avoir à nouveau cinq ans, et courir en braillant, et sourire aux gens. Candeur, douceur, bonheur. Et refaire du thé de là-haut en étant ici-bas.
[EN] Two little girls - they came to talk to me as I was taking a picture of the wildflowers - who climbed the wall with their little fingers full of buds - in front of the shop where their mom cut the hair of the passers-by - in an alley that goes between houses and down into the valley - in the middle of Darjeeling town high in the mountain - surrounded by tea fields and mist. Oh I'd like to be five years old again, and run around bawling and smiling at people. Candor, sweetness, happiness. And redo tea from up there by being here.