Stillness by the mountain

Growing up in the same town under the mountain, it was all I knew. Its immensity was suffocating, debilitating as the possibilities were endless. People were scary, the fear of the neighbour was absolute because I had no escape. This town was all I knew, and thus I was strangled by the facticity of being tied to it for what I thought would be forever. The winding stone paths, the ropes with hung clothes, and the rotten wood benches were all a bittersweet reminder that I would stay there forever. Childhood built a fictitious wall around the town: I never thought I would leave, and my life within the bounds of the town was all-encompassing.

But years went by, and the truth of the ticking of time became apparent. I was granted a scholarship to spend a year in Canada, and I took it. That new town became another home soon enough, but I vividly remember arriving back in my town under the mountain. The sun shone often, and there was a cinematic glimmer that made me believe I was living inside a postcard.

After that, I decided to go to university abroad, where I also grew fond of the city and became comfortable in it. However, going back to the town under the mountain, I was speechless because of its beauty, and the way that it had not changed at all. I felt that I could live here forever, but was always reminded of the duties I had abroad. In my day-to-day life, wherever I have lived, I have been attracted to TV shows that take place in the same town or city. I am convinced that this is because of how much I have moved around: I need a sense of stillness. That is provided by constancy, which I always get when I go back home.

Becoming an adult has meant coming to terms with the fact that, no matter how enchanted I feel by the town under the mountain, I could not live here long term as an adult. And that is okay, I tell myself. Because I will always have the same feeling when I come back every couple of months. A feeling that I am isolated from bigger issues and concerns, a feeling that here, in the town under the mountains, we can live the life that we want. What was once intoxicating because of its repetitiveness, suddenly became a reminder of a simpler period of my life. It became enchanting because of the way that the town stayed the same. I can still see the same tree in the mountain from my window, and I know that a past me once thought I was trapped. Instead, now I feel trapped by constant waves of change and innovation. The town of stone has now become my forever dream.