A Conversation between the Mountain and the River

Death is when no one remembers you, so it reads in German on a memorial stone on the corner of a steep mountain road high in the Austrian Alps.

I think there is truth to that, I don’t know the person on the memorial stone, but these mountains remind me of my mother who died when I was eighteen years old. She always brought me along to the mountains on our holidays, trying to teach a child from the Netherlands the beauty of the alpine landscape with its magical pine forests, crystal clear rivers, snow capped mountains and roaring waterfalls. As a child I never quite got the feeling my mother experienced wandering through this particular landscape.

Almost five years after my mothers passing, I went back to the mountain that seems so still, but moves with great determination and the river that flows so carelessly and yet so destructive. They started talking to me. In ‘A Conversation between the Mountain and the River’ I walk the known paths I once walked with my mother, but also ascend high over the peaks and descend into their rivers. They make me remember and teach me about how to deal with the grief of losing my mother.

In a way the landscape is giving me back what I’ve lost.