Life brings all manner of stress to any person at any time. It is one of life’s certainties that regardless of who you are, or how much wealth you have, or where you live, times of stress will assail you. So it is important that every person find ways to alleviate stress in whatever ways feel most helpful.
Years ago I lived in Uganda, East Africa during a time of political turmoil in that country. Everyday tasks could be stress-filled. A brief trip to the market could involve being stopped by armed soldiers. Finding yourself at the end of machine gun was frightening, to say the least. I experienced a great deal of anxiety and stress during those days, sometimes almost more than I thought bearable.
However, the view from my front door was a breathtaking mountain range we called the Mountains of the Moon. The range was the Rwenzori Mountains, located on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The highest peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains are snow-capped. Along with Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, the Mountains of the Moon are the only snow-capped mountains in Equatorial Africa.
But enough geologic history for this article. The point is that looking from my front porch at the Mountains of the Moon took me to a stress-free place inside myself. No matter how oppressed or frightened I may have felt, a few minutes of mountain-gazing would slow down my heart rate and give me a chance to breath deeply again. The Mountains of the Moon created an escape for me from the stress of life, and that happened for me time after time, in many different situations.
It is important for each person to find their own “Mountains of the Moon,” to find that place of stillness and calmness, that place where the stress of life just melts away. I have found that life’s stressful moments, even life’s tragic moments, can be brought into perspective when I go to that place of calm.
I live in the United States now, and The Mountains of the Moon are no longer the view from my front porch. The view is not much to look at, in fact, and is actually a neighbor’s house. On top of that, as I age, life’s stressors can be even more serious and ominous to me. So I must look for those breathtaking views and magical moments wherever I can find them. I must find ways to take myself to a place of refuge that can calm me and give me peace. It’s definitely harder these days, but it’s absolutely worth doing.
I hope you will find your own “Mountains of the Moon.”