Friday, May 17, 2013

climbing mountains

So this week TheBoy had a break from school between the end of his spring semester and the beginning of his summer session and he came up to visit me. On Wednesday we decided to hike Canfield Mountain. Well actually we went to Paul Bunyan's for burgers and debated whether we should hike the mountain or run by the lake downtown and TheBoy was all "you pick! I always pick!" So I drove to the mountain because, well, I'd never been there before so what the heck?

At first we wondered if we would really go all the way to the top. The higher we climbed the steeper it got and we both already had sore legs. (But Nathan's legs were way more sore than mine, let the record show. He wins the sore muscle award!)

We would look at how steep the trail went and say "we'll just get up this last peak" and then we'd get up there and the trail would go up even higher. Two hours into it and we were seriously debating turning back. But we'd come this far! We might as well keep going. It would be foolish to turn around now!

So onward and upward we put one foot in front of the other. TheBoy even had a makeshift walking stick for a while.

And then, just when I thought my little legs could take me no further, behold! The top of the mountain! And what a view, let me just tell you.

Check out that view! 
I know right? Gorgeous. 

From the top you could see the lake and the entire town. It was breathtakingly beautiful. We just sat and stared at the city for probably half an hour. We spotted the resort and then we were trying to make out other buildings, but that proved to be a little difficult since there are really no distinguishing markers. Oh well.

It was so worth it to get to the top of that mountain, you guys. Once I was there I couldn't believe that we had even considered turning around and going back to the car.

We daydreamed about climbing Mt. Everest or McKinley and then climbing Kilimanjaro and some of the Himalayas, because now that we had conquered Canfield we were experts. I mean, clearly.

And this whole thing got me thinking, guys. Like real deep stuff even.

This whole mountain climbing thing, it's tough work. The path is rocky and in some parts it goes up at a sharp angle. You work up a sweat taking step after step, feeling like the journey is lasting forever. Sore legs and sometimes labored breathing. There are moments where you want to give up, where you feel like walking back down the mountain would be so much easier - and you're right, it totally would be. But if you turn around and give up, then you never get to experience the euphoria of making it all the way to the top. You will never get to see the glorious view and rest in knowing that you conquered the mountain.

How similar that experience is to life.

We all go through bumpy patches, where you are climbing a mountain and circumstances are rough. There have been plenty of times where I have felt like running back down my mountains and clinging to things that I know instead of feeling courageous and plunging ahead no matter what. But that's what I am trying to do. Plunge ahead.

It would be so easy for me to go back to school. I know school. I can do that student thing like it's nobody's business. It's scary to move ahead with my life and take that big girl job and become a working class citizen. There are other areas also where I am climbing mountains too, not just with my career plan. If I just keep pushing ahead though, if I just keep pressing on then eventually I will reach the top of these mountains and the view will be spectacular.

And then I will look down from the top of my life mountain and wonder how I could have ever considered running back down. I am climbing and I am building myself and I am creating who I want to be. Life is all about discovering who you are and what purpose you serve. It is really the grandest of adventures. Sometimes I am so lost and I wonder what the crap I'm doing here, you know? Like what in the world is the reason behind my existence? Is there even one? But I know I have to be alive for a reason, or else what's the point?

So I keep climbing. And even though I'm not at the top yet, my path is still beautiful too. There is something to be said for the view of a mountain side. For wildflowers. And for good company.


  1. Beautiful and true :). Thanks for sharing.


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