A young man, wading through the snows of a high mountain. He walks past the bones of others who thought they were chosen and were wrong. He is terrified. Was he wrong, too? Has the Mountain called him, or was it just a dream?
The water spring was in the unlikeliest of places. A small pond of hot, bubbly water surrounded by granite rock and swathes of dirty ice. The young man fell to his knees, exhausted but relieved. „She did speak to me“ — he shouted — or rather, he tried to. His throat was so parched and his face so stiff from the cold that only a creak escaped his lips.
At that moment, he didn’t think. He laid down his thoughts at the feet of the glacier. They were no good on this journey conceived of dreams and folly. He disrobed and entered the pond. Warmth surrounded his body like a blanket. The water massaged him gently, untying the knots in his muscles, soothing the desperation in his heart, lulling him to sleep. Soon enough, his limp body was floating, as was his spirit.
Later on, he was never able to put into words what he experienced up there. When asked, he only smiled faintly. „The Mountain spoke to you, didn’t it?“ — they would inevitably inquire. And he wouldn’t deny.
They knew he was spoken to because he came back a different person. His movements became slow, steady and secure. He was still the scrawny boy from before, and yet he seemed big and strong in a way they couldn’t explain; almost as if his body became too small for him. They often found him lost in thought — he would be sitting there and wouldn’t notice them at all; and he wouldn’t return to them for hours. Once so talkative, he would now respond with a single word, or a gesture — and inevitably hit the proverbial nail on the head.
He was what they needed. Their secure rock in time of war and turmoil. Their gift. Their Mountain.