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Alpine Community: Where Heaven and Earth Meet. A Photo Blog



Mount Shasta eddies on a snowy day
Views of the Eddies Mountains from a Mount Shasta Neighborhood

There is a license plate holder in the Mount Shasta Visitor Center where I work that says Mount Shasta: Alpine Community. It caught me as rather curious when I first heard the phrase. What does it mean? I thought to myself.

Views of a typical lenticular cloud just over Mount Shasta. Photos by Srimati.


Another license plate holder says Mount Shasta: Where Heaven and Earth Meet. It’s my favorite. The phrase makes me think of the way Mount Shasta seems to connect Earth with Sky.


Yet this Alpine Community thing kept coming up. I wanted to understand it a little better. So I did a Google search on the word Alpine, hoping it would clear things up. Here’s what it came up with:


Alpine:

Adverb. Relating to high mountains.

"alpine and subalpine habitats"

Noun. A plant native to mountain districts, often suitable for growing in rock gardens.

"a collection of alpines and dwarf bulbs"


Of these two definitions, I wondered which one the license plate was referencing. I assumed it was the adverb because I wasn’t aware of many alpines in our ecology. I knew it must actually be referencing the high mountains of our area.


Mount Shasta: Elevation 14,179 ft.


Mount Shasta’s elevation is quite high at about 14,100 feet. Driving up the mountain as far as I can go, it is like a sky ocean up there: I look out around me and the clouds and blue sky look like ocean waves and currents, swirling and twirling. I think, well the sky really is an ocean of clouds holding water.

Photos from Everett Memorial Highway on Mount Shasta near Sand Flat and Bunny Flat


And all around us here are these mountains: Black Butte and Spring Hill to the North, Mount Shasta to the East, and the Eddies to the West. It does truly feel like a community of mountains up here.

Photos of the hills and mountains near Spring Hill and Black Butte from November-December, 2022


In the Peruvian Shamanic Traditions, mountain spirits are called the Apu. It is believed that mountains connect with Shamans and teach them the secrets of the land.


Several years ago, shortly after my Shamanic sight had opened up, I encountered the Spirit of Mount Shasta, who opened up to me after I complained about wanting to move from this area (because the long, cold winters were, and still are, so hard on me!). I was day dreaming constantly about either moving to Hawaii or traveling the mainland of America and visiting sacred sites while being a snowbird.


Of course, those were just fantasies. Even still, the spirit of Mount Shasta reached out to me and told me I wasn’t ready to leave this place yet because there was something she wanted to teach me.


I have to be honest that I was slightly annoyed by that. Mainly because I had given Mount Shasta the best years of my life and I experienced some very deep heartaches here, including economic downturn, housing crisis, deadly forest fires, and family-of-origin dysfunction with heartache surrounding substance abuse. I couldn’t imagine that things could ever really improve, nor that Mount Shasta had anything so great to show me.


But over the last few years, she surprised me quite a lot. Every day, I seem to merge more deeply with this land and experience great communion. What the mountain showed me was indeed the secrets of the land! I learned how to commune with the Sky, the Earth, and all creatures in the Web of Life. I eventually experienced a beautiful communion with the mountain that resulted in her sharing her medicine with me.


So Mount Shasta seemed to change my mind. Yes, I’ll stay. I do actually love it here, even in the cold of a snowy and icy winter that has been an answer to my many shamanic prayers.


I sit in awe of this land, this mountain, and the synchronicities that have come here: the way the mountain has spoken to me and shared so many of her secrets with me. I know I am not special because all of us are eligible and capable of this communion. But what is special is her and this land. What is special is the fact that I have become the land’s relative. The relationship itself is special!


It’s so easy for us to get lost in that sea of unworthiness. I’m not worthy to have this connection or I’m just a dumb human. Maybe we are just dumb humans (kidding)! But, these relationships are both precious and special. And that’s the point. The land, the Earth, the Creation loves us and wants to have a relationship with us; wants us to become her/his/their relative. We can experience a profound and beautiful holy communion with the land! Maybe starting by befriending a mountain and becoming a part of an Alpine Community!


Speaking of this word, Alpine, I thought a lot about it and one thing I realized is that the word Alpine still kind of sort of means Where Heaven and Earth Meet.

Zoom in of the Eddies from Mount Shasta


Alpine: Relating to high mountains. A place where the sky and Earth converge.


Alpine Community: A community of tall mountains, converging with the sky and Earth.


Mount Shasta: Where Heaven and Earth Meet.

Photos of Mount Shasta taken by my husband, Daniel


You have to see it to believe.


With Love,


Srimati


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