Armenia: Understanding Life's Philosophy through Nature

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Lori - a special heartfelt place, set in the Armenian highlands; the

place I belong to, where I am myself more than anywhere else in

this world; the land of peaceful Armenian mountains, legends,

myths, and fairytales. We also call it "Tumanyan's world", thanks

to the great poet and writer Hovhannes Tumanyan, every corner

of this region is related to a story, a fairytale. He discovered and

described the unknown world of simple villagers - a world full of

mystery, traditions, and wisdom.

When you enter the Lori region, there is a signboard

announcing it, and below is written "դբա լավը, ապո". From

local dialect, this could be translated as "to the better, my

friend!": a unique "welcome". From this place, the landscape

changes entirely. It changes for the better, of course.

My hometown, Vanadzor, is a tiny city surrounded by

mountains, rivers, and forests; the urban living in harmony with

nature. It's a calm city with its own slow rhythm, with no

skyscrapers, and not that many tourists. During the time of the

Soviet Union, it was called the "green city", with health centres

which were full of people from all over the Soviet Union. But

after the earthquake in 1988, a part of the city was ruined. Then

followed the war in the '90s, Independence, the 3rd Armenian

Republic, economic blockade, and the so-called "dark and cold

years"... During this difficult period, a lot of trees were cut down

to heat houses, but Vanadzor still looks greener than many other

cities.

8am. Waking up to Omnia's song 'Wake up' seems a

good start for this special day. Let this 'Omnia mood' follow me

throughout the day. Our little group starts the journey.

Destination: Maymekh Mountain, 3081 m. The spring has just

come to Lori. It always comes a little late. Fresh air, shining sun,

marvellous nature: what else could we need for such a perfect

morning?

The start is a little difficult. The path goes through

forests and cloughs, with obstacles on every step. Walking

becomes more and more difficult. Fortunately, the rest of the

path mostly consists of fields.The few moments of relaxation,

just lying on the grass, watching the sky and doing absolutely

nothing, are priceless. What's the purpose of continuing if here

and now we have everything we need to be happy? Carpe diem!

We also meet this dilemma during life's journey. We always

choose between dreams and big plans, and a comfortable,

predictable life. It's up to you which one to choose, but one thing

is for certain: if you want the most from life, you should do your

best. Wisdom consists of the ability to find an equilibrium

between these two things.

A group of horses is coming. So much freedom! I could

watch them for hours, but Maymekh is waiting.

Here and there you can hear the sound of water flowing

under the stones. Nothing compares to the cold, fresh,

mountainous water. It comes from the heart of the earth to give

us energy.

After a nine-hour walk, we are at the top of the

mountain. I have never been so high- except when travelling by

aeroplane! This magical view of powerful mountains reminds

me of the words of Paruyr Sevak: "We are eternal like our

mountains". It's a special feeling to know that your ancestors

looked at these views thousands of years ago, and here you are,

watching it now.

Although the wind doesn't allow me to catch my breath,

I stand for some minutes and admire the breathtaking

panorama. Would it seem dramatic, if I were to say that I feel the

presence of ancient Armenian Gods? At least, I understand what

the source of the rich imagination of my ancestors was when

they were creating them. When you are watching these views,

your brain starts working differently, your spirit is full of

inspiration. You're ready to reach your dreams no matter what;

to act, to create, and to win. Here, closer to the skies and Gods,

you breathe deep and feel alive. It is the perfect place for

meditation. There's only you and Mother Nature. No noise, no

cars, no crowd; nothing disturbing you, only you with your

thoughts.

To be at the top, you need to continue your journey no

matter what. Sometimes you should face your tiredness, forget

about your pain and fears and keep going. You are often out of

breath, you think about giving up because it seems impossible to

pass through all of this and continue. But if you keep going,

you'll be a winner - and of course, Carpe Diem and enjoy every

moment!

Nature is always genuinely simple. Do you wish to gain

an understanding of life's philosophy? Go hiking in the

mountains! Nature will teach you everything you need to know.

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