I want to see mountains again, Gandalf – mountains; and then find somewhere where I can rest.
~Bilbo, The Fellowship of the Ring
Deep within us all is a desire for adventure; a desire to break free from the normality’s of life and face peril and hardship and reward. We love to read about it and we’re fascinated by watching movies and shows on it. We burry ourselves in the adventures of others, each secretly longing that we could be just as brave and just as strong if we were placed in such a situation.
Mountains are often the starting place for adventures or they play a pivotal role in them. Something about their majesty and their snow cloaked tops and their splendor calls to us and tells us, “Something is out there. Treasure. Love. Risks. Faith. It’s all waiting for you. Come, come!”
I see those glorious mountains every day as I sit typing out my novel. As my characters face their worst fears, I sip tea and snuggle deeper into my warm sweatshirt. I’ll never have to battle Ice Dragons. I’ll never find myself in a different world. I’ll never be searching for a lost someone in order to save my brother and a cursed land. I should be glad of that. After all, few willingly invite pain into their lives.
Yet as I look out over the mountains, a small part of me dares to wish that I could trade places with my suffering characters.
I’m like Bilbo Baggins in more ways than I care to admit. I love to stay alone at home, I’m rather short, my feet may be slightly hairier than normal girls my age and I absolutely love food. Most of the time I ignore anything related to adventure because, like Bilbo says, “We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!”
So why it is that when I gaze upon the cloud cloaked tops of the magnificent mountains, I want to do something grand and heroic and very unlike little old me?
Mountains call out that deep hidden spark of adventure in all of us – even the most reserved, reclusive, terrified of us. Look within any great, epic work of art – painting, stories, songs, poem and many all of them will be tied in with mountains somehow. Who can help but gaze upon the mountains and know that there is more, there has to be more, than sitting around all day, eating candy and staring at a computer screen.
Maybe it’s time we put down our books and push away the TV screen, shoulder our packs and set out on an adventure of our own. It will be different for each of us. Let the Tookish part of you dance for once.