Blog by Lynne Pearl

The Pyrenees are wonderful.  One forgets how spectacular mountains are.  I had come to know the Alps through attending a meditation course in Kossen, Austria and by attempting to travel over them in an old red Ford Escort many years ago when we were entering the then Yugoslavia.  We had somehow managed to climb the mountains from the Austrian side into Yugoslavia.  But the car broke down repeatedly and only by walking did we arrive at the border.  That was the Alps.

Then there were meditation courses in Arosa Switzerland when the mountains were right outside our windows surrounding us as we closed our eyes and opened them again and there they were, always the view.

Now these mountains this time after how long, may be a space of forty years and a lifetime of child raising and changing countries the mountains were back.  They had walked into my life without so much as a by your leave or a goodbye or a hallo.  But they were resoundingly back.

But these were the Pyrenees.  I don’t remember the Alps being jet black and quite so pointed and high.  Far off and lofty and awe inspiring.  These mountains rose and rose behind the green friendly mountains of the foothills that climbed gradually and serenely around the valley of the river.  Then by successive turns were held up by their friends the older mountains the fatherly mountains until beyond them the foothills of green were the austere ancestors scraping the sky with their jagged peaks, with permanent white- tipped caps. 

Some days you couldn’t see them.  They hid in the mist or the rain or just the sky was not clear enough to see the high peaks.  So we lived with the green comfortable hills like cushions around us, holding the hospital and the myriad hotels in and around the river that coursed through the middle, waiting for no one and nothing.

There were mountains everywhere you looked.  And it was fabulous, they could keep you awake at night with their presence.  I kept the bedroom window open so their fresh air could strea, into the room with their presences.  It felt like the Hall of the Mountain King, that there were essences or folk tales all about that lived in these high places.

Then there was the river that rushed through and on to the sea far away in Biarritz.  It didn’t wait for no one.  Even the ducks could hardly swim on it, it was in such a hurry.  No languid Thames this, majestic, this was a river to conquer.

Then high in the foothills we found a lake as peaceful and dreamy a lake as ever existed.  It was partially covered in white lotus flowers, the flower of enlightenment stories.  And beyond the emerald green lake were white cows.  The beautiful cows of the mountains, with alpine bells that rang through the hills and up the mountains so their owners would never lose them.  Magical cows of legend, sounding across the valleys and hilltops.  We sat and blinked and ate food in the high valley and sang songs happy in our wealth of being.