I hung up the phone from a difficult conversation and wanted to scream some not-so-nice words. A text with a picture suddenly appeared. It was my sister on top of a mountain trail (“Look at this view!”); and in an instant, my attitude shifted.
It’s no secret I enjoy hiking, especially with my sister. We have racked up many miles through our years on foot with some stunning scenery, unique experiences, and funny stories along the way.
As little girls, we hiked with our dad in the summers while on family vacation at the same working ranch in the Rockies of Colorado. Before each trail hike, we always looked up in awe of the daunting task ahead wondering if our momentum, lungs, and little chicken legs would get us to the top (and, let’s be honest, excited to see what snack daddy would have for us at the top too). Of course, when we reached the top, taking in the view, eating our snack, and basking in our accomplishment, our perspectives grew in greater confidence. Daddy innately understood why we needed to climb a mountain every now and then; it was his quiet way of teaching us about life’s challenges and hardships. When we climbed mountains, we faced hurdles, obstacles, and problems to solve while on the trail using our attitude, effort, and strength. We experienced first-hand how these same personal super-powers on each mountain hike are ever-present within us as we overcome challenges in everyday life.
2021 so far, at least for me, feels like another ginormous mountain after the year formally known as 2020. The view, to this point in the year, is not so pleasant. Please understand…I’m grateful to be safe, well (so far), and have the resources to be home to assist and care for my dad full-time while keeping our pod moving forward each day in hope. We keep a routine, wear our masks, wash our hands, keep our distance (even on walks and hikes), and find simple ways to be kind to our minds. But after nearly twelve months of quarantine at the High-Risk VanAmVilla (where, like the Hotel California, “you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave”), this is beginning to wear-and-tear on all of us, y’all! But when we stop a moment, take a deep cleansing breath, and start again with baby steps, we realize we DO have the personal super-powers to keep on climbing. After all, the mountain, no matter how big it is (and we sometimes swear it’s growing), is no match for our faith and desire to successfully climb it. Attitude, effort, and personal strength are everything in life (and in climbing mountains). Mountains are meant to be climbed. Diseases are meant to cured (and I’m waiting patiently for my vaccine turn). Wounds are meant to be healed. Problems are meant to solved. All are critical learning experiences; some in sorrow and sadness and others in success and JOY. I have to think this pandemic mountain serves a higher purpose in making us stronger, wiser, resilient, grace-filled, and hopeful…physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
While we often can’t control what happens to us, we can control how we see and climb the mountains in our life. We can look at the mountains as being in the way or as THE WAY to personal growth and success (or as momma would sing to remind me to, “bloom and grow forever”). We always have a choice. We can stand at the bottom overwhelmed and initially defeated, or we can dig down deep in our resourceful well and find the very best way within ourselves to climb onward as we encourage one another. Here’s my hand reaching out to assist and here’s to each of us who are finding clever ways to fearlessly hike the mountains in our paths on this journey. Just know I’m singing and hiking beside you. Continue to be blessed and be a blessing, my friends. 🙂
I so needed to hear these words! You have reminded each of us to keep persevering. Sometimes that mountain does seem to grow, because we sometimes feel alone climbing it but thank you for reminding us during this pandemic that others are climbing their own mountains too and by taking one step at a time, we will get there. I sometimes forget to take baby steps! Such eloquent words of wisdom ❤️
Tammie! Thanks for your inspiring and encouraging words today, my friend! You never walk alone, even when it feels like it sometimes. Sometimes it mimics whack-a-mole and other times it’s an easy winding path up for the best view imaginable. Yes; we WILL get there…all in our own time and way, and baby steps are sometimes the very best way to catch our breath for a bit. I miss you and appreciate the wisdom you share with me along the journey. Stay safe and well, beautiful artistic soul!
Ruthie! You are my sister from another mister! Alice and my Momma have been on mind so much lately…I sang “Climb Every Mountain with each of them at various times in the past; beautiful words indeed. Alice loved singing “Edleweiss” with me as well. Hearing about the loss of Christopher Plummer this last week brought a flood of memories too…whew! Big hugs to you my friend! b
That’s interesting – just today I was singing “Climb Every Mountain” (one of my students is playing it on piano) and actually THINKING about the words rather than singing it mindlessly. Good time in history to be reminded. Thanks, Beth.