Nature: forbearing teacher


Photos courtesy Chia


Chia is from Iraqi-Kurdistan. As our Music Page Editor, he usually writes about music. This month, however, he takes us with him on a journey to Mount Halgurd where, from Old Testament times, amazing lessons have been spoken and heard.

THE Halgurd Hiking team invited me and my friends to join them in hiking Mount Halgurd. The mountain is 3607 meters [2.2 miles] high— the highest mountain in Kurdistan. We were 19 people altogether.  

     My friends and I love to go to the rivers and mountains together. We always have conversations about religion and God, and nationality. The mountains and rivers make you think about these things. We live in the city, but when we are in the mountains it is different. The mountains give you life again.  People fill their minds with disco and drinking—and get nothing from it. But when you go to mountains you get something for all your life. It cleans you. You get something beyond the mountain, you get something beyond the sun; you are thinking so much. 

     I never climbed such a high mountain. This was the first (and last!) time I will climb Mt. Halgurd! It is too much. It is even dangerous. But I loved this climb. Climbing makes you very humble because you see how strong the mountain is and how weak you are. When you get to the top you have a whole different feeling. You see everything in a different way. It makes you love your life more than before. You don’t want fighting. You want to live. You want everyone to live. And so we hike for our lives: to empty our minds of hatred. We climb the mountains to feel again: to fill our minds with beauty, hope, and life. 

     We stayed one night on the mountain. It was so cold, but so beautiful. We sat around a fire, singing. We had laughter and a good conversation.  We could not make a big fire because there was too much wind and so I was frozen. I felt literally frozen all night. We ate olives with pepper to make us warm. We couldn’t carry a lot of food or clothes. But we brought milk and dates, a little meat, and small cakes. 

      Only one terrible thing happened that night. Suddenly, Turkish planes were flying over us, bombing villages and civilians below us. From up on the mountain we could see Turkey, Iran and Iraq all at the same time.

      You get answers on the mountain. You get things you cannot touch, but things you can feel and know are true. 

 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us: