Today, December 11th is international mountain day.
It was created by the United Nations in 2003 to bring awareness to the importance of mountains to people and the planet. The U.N. and the F.A.O. (Food and Agricultural Organization) say this years theme for International Mountain Day is #mountainsmatter and ask we write why mountains matter to us. From the FAO website: Mountain regions are an important water supply, they house 56% of the worlds biosphere reserves, they are home to 13% of the worlds population, are important to indigenous people who have intimate knowledge of them and whose culture is intertwined with these regions, mountains attract 15-20% of the worlds tourism and mountains cover 22% of the earths land surface.
Along with these and many other reasons mountains are important to me.
When I run or hike in these places I am reminded of how fragile my existence is. How short a human life is in the grand scheme of the universe. The mountains seem to be ageless compared to us and their environments can quickly change without much warning and become life threatening. But mountains and their landscapes also inspire me and put me in awe of their beauty.
Their clean, natural environments help me reconnect to nature in a way that’s not possible in the urban environments we’ve carved out for ourselves. Mountains encapsulates life itself and reminds me of what the real important things in life are.