Nature Notes

Vol. IX July 15, 1931 No. 6

Inspirational Value of Mt. Rainier National Park

Perhaps the greatest value of all that we receive from "The Mountain" is that of renewed inspiration.

The soul that does not respond to a feeling of reverence upon gazing at the great mountain is indeed dead. "The Mountain That Was God" -- Even the Indians sensed its great power, its air of mystery, the feeling of mighty forces and of majesty it engenders in the human soul. And so they imbued it with supernatural powers.

One never tires of its aspects from day to day. It is never the same. It smiles down upon you in silent and peaceful grandeur, yet those of us who have breasted its top know that, like the sea, it can exhibit vengeful forces that make our puny efforts seem as nothing. Mighty storms sweep ever it, great avalanches roaring and rumbling and booming in the distance.

The great glaciers that have buried themselves in its bosom, rushing streams of water, sweeping the glacial drift downward to the sea, are evidences of forces that enervate the imagination, and give us pause to wonder. Great elemental forces are at work here, but somehow the great mountain does not take us entirely into its confidence. It awes us and fills us with a spirit of sublimity, but holds itself a bit aloof.

sketch of trees

Not so the little lakes upon its flanks. They allow intimate acquaintance. They take us entirely into their confidence and smile back at us in reflections of "The Mountain". These, nestled in verdure-clad slopes, we understand and seek as friendly, intimate bits of Nature. Yet they never overstep the bounds of confidence thus engendered.

Then the tireless waterfalls, and the deep quiet forest trails. Comet Falls, coming out of the sky and spreading out into long flying gauzy comet tails, ending in mist below, is satisfying. Evening songs of the varied thrush and the lilt of the Winter-wren bubbles with happiness. These are the things the mountain gives us. Money cannot buy, nor misfortune rob us of them. They fill our souls with peace and make us walk in humility.

-- Charles Landis,
Ranger Naturalist.

sketch of 'The Mountain'

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