The Corps De Garde is the mountain I see every day when I look out from my window. I love to contemplate this strange shape whose peak points up to the sky, and whose foot is covered with a verdant mantle that covers half of its rough skin, which was, and still is, forged by the force of wind and rain since its rising from the ground.
I never knew how strange and intriguing a mountain was, not until I came to live in a house that’s settled in the middle of mountain ranges (Black River Range and the Moka Range), and started to observe the Corps De Garde, which means bodyguard in English. That’s when I noticed that the surface of the mountain morphs when sunlight falls to play with the shady parts of the mountain. The mountain I see everyday never looks the same during winter and summer… in winter a cave appears, its slope is an opened eyed crocodile, and in summer that cave disappears, while the crocodile closes its eyes to sleep — the perfect example of optical illusions that arise from the shadow play that takes place between the light and the shade, a wonderful scenery for someone like me who loves the mystical and aesthetic side of things.
On days when the weather looks menacing, I always watch if the mountain’s peak is covered by thick clouds before hanging the clothes outside; because if the mountain is enshrouded in clouds, then, to me it means that it will soon rain around, thus prefer to wait a little bit more for these clouds to dissipate. And then at other times my mind takes me into these far away lands filled with the imagery of myself on that cloudy peak, and that’s when my imagination becomes a fertile ground for stories and poems, just like my first accepted short story, which I wrote after being inspired by the scenery of clouds over the peak of the Corps De Garde, and of the mist that sometimes veils the mountain features as day falls. Thus, have to say that this mountain has somehow been my lucky charm… perhaps I should consider to write another story where this time its name would appear, or even immortalise it in a book as a place where the story happens… I’m sure that it will like it, my lucky charm.
And then there are days when serendipity strikes as when on a random little tour to change air you capture the image of the moon over the peak of La Petite Rivière Noire, and where I couldn’t help myself from thinking that we are really lucky to be able to live on a planet where constant beauty emanates freely from the nature that surrounds us — we are so lucky to have mountains that inspire our creativity and imagination.
It’s not at all strange that so many people are attracted by mountains… that they want at all cost to climb it, to paint it, to write about it, to sing about it, to adore it, to take pictures of it, to live at its foot, to contemplate it, to love it, for their curves look like sleeping giants under bedsheets that could at any time wake up; they are anthropomorphic things with heads and eyes, and foot and rough skin, and plants as hair that grows on their body; they are giants that see the whole world at a distance, and perhaps, protecting, always there, forever watching; an old eyewitness of the change that takes place on land. And I wonder about all of the stories mountains hold inside of them since the world was world.
Tell me mountain, what would you tell if you could talk? What secrets do you hold?