I have never been much of a nature guy. Probably my favorite nature experience happened when our kids were young, when my wife and I rented a summer cottage in Vermont. It was a very modest place but there was a little balcony off the bedroom that looked right out on a mountain, and I would sit there for hours, staring at the view. I wasn’t close enough to see any detail, or to differentiate among the plants or rocks or features, or to get my feet dirty. (This is really about as close to nature as I ever want to get….) What impressed me so much about the view was how unchanging it was. It was rugged and beautiful and far away and imposing and timeless, and it was that way every time I looked at it. Its dependability seemed to be a big part of its strength.
Of course, time is different for different things. Our lives don’t last very long, so our experiences and our attentions – and our music – tend to fill up with things that pass through us or by us very quickly. Mountains, on the other hand, don’t change too fast. Their lives seem eternal to us. Maybe it’s useful for us occasionally to contemplate the eternal.