For years, I never knew that such perfection & beauty even existed. I thought this kind of fairytale only existed in books & movies, for anyone who wasn’t me. I had seen your photographs, but imagining a life filled daily with you & your presence was so far out of reach that I assumed it to be impossible. But, then I finally met you, & I knew that I couldn’t live without you. We spent casual summers together when I was growing up, dancing through the rays of sunshine as if they were waterfalls. We sat together as the sun kissed us both goodnight in the cool evening air, filling us with hope for the mysteries held within the hands of tomorrow. I never knew then how much you would come to mean to me now. You remind me of all the opportunities & challenges that life brings, of all the promises yet to be made or fulfilled, & yet I remain unafraid of the possibilities.
Over the years, I have come to you in moments of joy & in moments of tragedy, with tears of joy & tears of pain. When I came to you from on top of the world, you took me to moon. When I came to you from rock bottom, you built a foundation that I could stand on. When I needed a sanctuary, you became the altar. You never judged me, my path, or my decisions — you always embraced every piece of human that I am. You took my disgusting regrets & turned them into beautiful, rectified lessons. When I couldn’t stand being in my own mind or my own body, when I couldn’t even love myself, you showed me the beauty in being broken. You showed me all of the wonders this life has to offer, if we are only brave enough to embrace them. For all of the ways that I have changed, you never once questioned who I was becoming. You have challenged me, but you have also remained steadfast in loving me. You taught me that I am both wild & graceful, tough & tender.
In the solitude of the wild, in the serenity of reaching a summit, & in the stillness of the clouds, you gave me the gift of gratitude. You instilled the valuable principles of patience, perseverance, perspective, & peace through your own example of the same. In loving the twisted, bewildered paths of my past, you taught me that there is no shame in being lost. You have believed in the untamed wilderness & in the poised spirit that encompass my heart simultaneously.
Despite all of the reasons that I have loved you & you have loved me, I know we have also had our times of disagreement & differences. Times when I needed a break, but you kept calling me, begging me to come back. Begging me to stay. Or those moments when I wanted you, but you didn’t want me. When you pushed me away with the same force as thunder & lightning, but I still looked at you longingly, lost amid our nostalgic maze of sacred memories. All of the times when I was stubborn & didn’t want to listen. The times when you were right & I was wrong. The times when I let my pride build distance instead of bridges between us. And yet, we still seemed to find a way back to each other, to challenge each other & make ourselves stronger for the struggles that we shared.
So from this day forward, I promise to love you as passionately as you have loved me. I promise to not only hear you, but to listen intently to you. I promise to say yes when you invite me in & to grant you space when you need to breathe on your own. I promise to build a life with you in it, a life with meaning & purpose. I promise to stand in awe of you, just as fully in the future as I stand before you now. My biggest dreams & my most heartfelt smiles have all been fulfilled because of you. I promise that in this moment, I have never been more sure of anything in my life. For today & the rest of my days, dear mountains, I am yours.