International Mountain Day: Mountains matter
Catalunya11 de desembre de 2020
“Mountains matter” is the motto of International Mountain Day 2020 which is celebrated every December 11th. Because, leaving aside their well-known economic and tourist interest, the mountains are of paramount importance from an ecological point of view, as they host almost half of the biodiversity of Mother Earth and contain more than two-thirds of their freshwater reserves. In addition, the mountains have been and are spaces of enormous cultural, emotional and spiritual relevance, with a series of symbolic meanings and intangible values that have shaped and spurred the societies linked to them from prehistory to the present day.
Mountains are places where one can more easily soak in beauty, silence, and solitude; paying attention to our own smallness, the transience and fragility of our lives; experience inner peace and communion with Nature. Beyond sports and leisure activities, the mountains have also been and are places to admire and marvel; places especially suitable for contemplation and prayer, conducive to visions and revelations, a source of inspiration for poets, and the cradle of great mystical intuitions. For this reason, many mountains around the world have been and are considered sacred, places of retreat, pilgrimage and hermit life, conducive to the encounter with the Mystery.
In addition to providing useful resources (forestry, hunting, energy, water, etc.) mountains have been and are optimal spaces for learning and spiritual growth, which is why they should be seen with reverent love, as eminent members of the great cosmic family of which we are a part. This loving look and the careful attitude that emerges from it, innate in indigenous peoples, rooted local communities and defended by the great religious traditions, is, today, more necessary than ever in the face of the many and unworthy aggressions suffered by the mountains: tourism, urbanization, overexploitation, etc. It is our duty, then, to listen, honor, respect and protect the mountains.