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Themes:     Nature & Environment (39)  
Tags:    Dolomites     Nature
Sonia Sbolzani Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A sense of respect

Summer has finally arrived. And with it, troupes of tourists enter our high altitude zone. Let them come. However- and repeating this never gets old- let them respect this “human heritage”.
A sense of respect
“Nature has thousands of eyes: the forest feels when something is amiss, when something does not belong there …”
Ermann Krum, poet, thus described a “mountain idyll” destroyed by the vulgar interest of business:
“Resting at the foot of a fir
silence and snow greet me:
a white, perfect bed, no wind, not a living soul,
I listen to the brook with the companionship of animals.
All of a sudden I trample all over their solitude,
I bend branches,
I rage and destroy as much as I can
until not an inch of peace remains” (from “Respiro, Fine dell’idillio) (ndt libera resa)

The great writer-cum-mountaineer Mario Rigoni Stern, on the other hand, told us “ I look at the Sunday trawlers going for a walk in the forests or on the snow. Garish colours, a quick and distracted step. And then, cars, lights, snowcats! Nature has thousands of eyes: the forest feels when something is amiss, when something does not belong there, and so it closes its eyes and becomes like an ice statue… To those with a keen ear and nose, the forest will talk with thousands of signals and calls…”
In fact, entering the realm of the Dolomites should be tantamount to entering a holy place, ‘with a confident and light step’, to quote Rigoni Stern, who also added: ‘Mountains are ice: treacherous and fiendish… the Dolomites are snow, beauty personified, condescending to the man who is willing to respect and know them’. And Edgar Lee Masters thought of them as follows ‘… all these peaks are poems, poems and prayers which pierce the clouds’ (from “Spoon River Antology’, Judson Stoddard).
So let us listen, in silence, to the mountains and we will understand their true nature, we will see them with the awe which makes us open to the world, guaranteeing us entry into this pocket of truth which makes life all the more bearable.

Sonia Sbolzani
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