Thursday, August 17, 2006

William O. Douglas on mountains

William O. Douglas on mountains
From a letter to a Seattle schoolgirl

Dear Sharon:

A person’s experience on a mountainside turns so much on his own personality. For myself it is a testing ground of my strength and endurance, a pitting of finite man against one of the great rigors of the universe. It is an interesting testing ground. A man — or girl — can get to know himself — or herself — on the mountain. He gets to know his inner strength — the power of the soul to add to the power of the legs and lungs.

In the solitude of the mountains — especially on the highest peaks — he is close to the heavens, close to the outer limits of the earthly zone. It is for me easy, therefore, to have communion with God and to come on understanding terms with my own being.

Other people may have different experiences. These are the essence of mine.

November 6, 1954


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