God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea.
-Psalm 46:1-2 (NRSV)
I love the mountains. I, often, purposely plan my trips to travel to them. Glacier, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Great Smokies, Grand Canyon – I have seen lovely mountains all over this country and the top National Parks on my list continue to be filled with mountains: Acadia, Denali, Banff…
There is something that draws us to mountains: the collission of plates that have pushed towards the skies over unthinkable years, the constant friction, the waves of color that are etched in the rock from the surrounding sediments and natural phenomenons. They are brilliant, all of them.
I have seen a lot of mountains, I have climbed just as many, metaphorically. I live in a home of valleys. Hills surround me and despite what direction I roam, I am always climbing up out of somewhere to another valley, then trudging forward over another hill. My life is simply symbolic of the place of I live.
But it has been those climbs that have given me power, strength, endurance. My breath has been taken from me during those climbs, my spirit dwindled when I thought there was no way I could climb those last bits to make it to the top; my body couldn’t dare sustain me. But it did. It continues. Despite the health challenges I give it from lack of exercise, overeating, worry, depression, grief, despite all of those it just treks on, up those hills, battled and pushed forward with some unknown drive.
This body needs some breaks, some rewards. It needs a reason to get to the top of the hill without a hindered breath, with a clearer mind, through non-cynical eyes, with a drive that I understand instead of one that just throttles me without knowledge.
I’m climbing, but I’m ready to climb with a lessened load, unburdened from the climbs before. Using those previous journeys to fuel me instead of burden me.