Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Imaginary Mountains

To love you is like climbing
A mountain white with snow
I'd like to reach out to you
But it seems so far you know
So many jagged peaks
And things I just don't like
But you might be worth the trip
So I just might take you up
On that hike

Imaginary mountain
Between your heart and mine
Nothing's insurmountable
When your love's divine

The sun shines on the mountain
The streams are charged with gold
There just might be some nuggets
In all that icy cold
Into the distant valleys
Pure white water flows
I'd like to climb that mountain
But I just might get frozen
To my toes

The lakes form in the valleys
More water's on the rise
When love melts snowy peaks
The mountains aren't so high
The glacier in my heart
Warmed by your romance
Could melt the ice with me
And I just might become
An avalanche

©1995 Stefan des Lauriers


One of the themes I play around with is the idea of mountains fading in the distance, becoming transparent and flying. I have done this through the use of Canada Geese, which I have personally trained to fly in "V" formation. My goal is to encourage these majestic birds to spell my name across the sky. The most difficult letter of course is "S" because you have to get two flocks to fly in opposite directions on a near collision course.


Long, long ago in a tiny mountain kingdom there lived an oriental merchant with his lovely daughter. They came from the Far East, settled in the pretty river village and prospered selling exotic silks, spices and teas.

The merchant's daughter, Myoung, was so beautiful that men would come into the store just to catch a glimpse of her. The wild and reckless woodcutters who destroyed the forest came in the most often.

The woodcutters were at odds with everyone in the village. They cut down all the trees which caused the good soil to wash away. This made it hard for the farmers to grow their crops. One night the nasty woodcutters set fire to the chapel and the merchants trading post hoping they could come back later to sell them lumber to rebuild. As they were about to set fire to the merchant's house Diamond Ray the Frontier Sheriff came to the rescue.

After saving them Diamond told the merchant that he wanted to marry Myoung when she came of age. The merchant nodded, but vowed that he would never betray his daughter. Instead he came up with a secret plan.

Starting that Autumn the Merchant rebuilt his trading post and built a new chapel of stone. On the shortest day of the year he installed a stain glass window that he had designed himself. He took great care to place it just right so the first rays of the sun would shine through it just right.

By Spring the chapel was finished, but few came there to worship. Every day at dawn Philip Waldie, the Smithy's son would come to the chapel to pray.

When Myoung finally blossomed into a woman Diamond Ray came to to claim her. "I will post a notice in the square tomorrow stating how my daughter will be betrothed," the Merchant declared. "It will be in the form of a riddle; if you are pure of heart you will be able to solve it. If not at least be consoled that it will solve your problem with the woodcutters."

That night the Merchant took his daughter for a walk by the river. He told her that his parents chose his wife, and that he would like to choose the man who would marry her. Myoung told her father that she had faith in his judgment and would abide by his decision.

The next morning the Merchant nailed the sign unto the post. It read: 'The key to Myoung's heart is one step above and beyond the imaginary mountain. The first one to bring this key to me will have the hand of my daughter.'

A crowd of people gathered and soon the village was buzzing. The woodcutters lined up at the trading post to buy ropes, boots, backpacks, compasses, walking sticks and hiking provisions. It was funny the way they pushed and shoved each other trying to be first to buy stuff only to head out all in a group together.

When warm sea air blew through the valley towards the distant peaks the mountains would turn blue and fade into the sky. Somewhere on or beyond the first mountain it was thought that the key to Myoung's heart could be found. But no one knew that beyond the first imaginary mountain there was a maze of imaginary mountains.

Since the woodcutters had all headed for the hills it was safe for Myoung to go out to pick wild flowers. Philip came by the dewy meadow, greeted her and sat down on a stump. "Every time I go by the Smithy's place," Myoung said, "sparks start to fly..." Myoung secretly admired Philip. "Aren't you going to go out in search of the imaginary mountain."

"I'd like to," Philip said, "But I made a determination that I would go to the Chapel first thing every morning to pray."

The Merchant had designed the Chapel so that once a year—at winter's solstice—the morning sun would stream through the window to make the image of a mountain on the wall. Only someone who was in the Chapel at sunrise would be able to solve the riddle. Philip looked up from his prayers and found the key. He ran to the merchant to show it to him, knowing that he was the one to be betrothed to Myoung.

Just before the wedding day Myoung and her father were in front of the smithies when a woodcutter, holding what looked to be a giant key stumbled at their feet. "I found it, I found it," he gasped. He spoke of looking out from mountain peak to see fellow woodcutters on other mountain peaks as far as the eye could see... Close examination of the 'key' revealed that it was just a bone. But there was no way that a dinosaur bone could get in the way of true love.

After a joyful wedding ceremony Philip and Myoung lived happily ever after. In time the valley flourished as trees grew again to cool the breezes heading to the mountain. The two peaks of the mountain never again faded into the sky, but stood as strong sentinels overlooking the village.

©1994 Stefan des Lauriers


When a mountain is first formed
The earth heaves up with pride
Like a flower breaking through
With a blossoming fragrance inside
Faith can move a mountain
Doubt can tear your world apart
With hope your roots will dig down deep
Into your heart of hearts

Little Mountain flower
Wish that you could stay
Was it so much the wind?
Could there be another way
Who must now get over
A mountain of tears
Little Mountain Flower
True love never disappears

Something moved you Mountain Flower
Far from your mountain friends
In a pot upon a windowsill
You can’t see where the valley ends
A friend is more than a mountain
Seen best from far away
With hope you’ll be moved again
To t he brighter light of day

A mountain is much like our love
When it gives itself to the sea,
Its only when you lose yourself
That you can hope to be free
High upon the mountain
There’s a place saved for you
When you become a flower of love
Shining pure and bright and true

© 1981 Stefan des Lauriers
This song had its beginnings in the summer of 1981 on a mountainside in Colorado. As I sat strumming my guitar many dandelion seeds were shining a silver gold as the sun set. Meadowlarks intertwined with the melody making their way to then valley. A sister had just left the family and I wrote the song trying to imagine God’s grief. The silver dandelion seeds made me think of a mountain of tears.

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