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My Mountain Heartbeat

by - Monday, October 01, 2018

"That's it for you now. If you didn't know it already, you've woken something up and it's never going away. If that part of you is there, everyone's got their own moment when they felt their mountain heartbeat spring to life."

from 'Between the Sunset and the Sea' by Simon Ingram.

I felt my mountain heartbeat spring to life exactly 3 years ago; while standing on the pine needle-scattered ground, gazing out into the azure waters of Moraine Lake as the sun slowly sunk behind the mountains around it.

And again, whilst waking early and wandering outside to watch the sunrise over the rocky mountainscape, the sun casting a stunning crimson colour palette over everything it touched.

I hadn't felt anything quite like it before. Something awoke inside me in that moment; a desperate longing; a need to be with nature and to basque in all it's monumental beauty... Coupled with the overwhelming sense of awe that catapulted everything into a fresh new perspective. How beautiful this world is; how tiny we are in comparison; that the sheer force of nature will always determine the way that humans, animals and plants will live their lives.

In the presence of mountains, you really can feel the earth breathing. The lush green landscapes of trees backed by the harsh, cold rock of mountains. Bold, bright sunlight shining down through crisp, pure air onto nature's finest creation, softly dusted with snow. The strongest force of nature and to me, the greatest attraction of the planet.

Not long after our Canadian honeymoon, I finally realised what my first and only tattoo would be. Ever since I was a teen, I’d wanted a tattoo but I could never decide on what sort of thing I wanted. But shortly after my mountain heartbeat sprang to life, I instinctively knew what I wanted it to be; what I needed it to be. 

So, after 3 years of waiting for the right moment, and a few months of designing, I arrived at the design that subtly did it all justice. I knew the place to have it done would be Hunstville, Alabama, as that was where Paul got his only tattoo done 11 years ago, and it seemed such a nice thought to do the same thing.

...And I'm so glad I did. Now, not only does my tattoo have the sentimental meaning and tie me to the mountains, it also holds the most wonderful memories of our holiday of a lifetime. I loved every second of getting it done, and it still gives me goosebumps now when I catch it in a mirror as I walk past.

The design itself is based upon a particular selection of Canadian Rockies that became so important to us when we were there. And although I spent a while designing it, Paul ended up doing some sketches for me when I had hit a wall with it - so the tattoo I have is actually the hand-drawn work of my husband.

And now my heart has it's mountains, because the mountains have my heart.

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