“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” ~ Edmund Hillary
Mount Rainier, Summer 2008
This morning I was transported back to a moment in time last summer, from our visit to Mount Rainier, in Washington state. This picture, my desktop background, jumped out at me. A reminder of our summer vacation, and even more than that – what this mountain, what all the mountains of our world, can teach us. Today we’ll look at the wisdom which resides deep within these magnificent beacons.
Our visit was but a day to this mountain, yet it’s an awe-filled moment that will live on forever in my soul.
Lessons From The Mountain
- A mountain represents both a high point and a low point. And even climbing a mountain, there will be spots where you are going up, and then need to change direction and go down in order to continue to the peak. Life Lesson: Life is like this. There will be ups and there will be downs. The important thing to remember is that through it all, we remember where we’re headed on our life journey. Have we thought about the peak we’re aiming for?
- Go out on a hike, and depending on where you are – there may or may not be a trail to follow. Along the easier parts of the mountain, those which are traveled regularly by many – trails are plentiful and in good condition. The closer you get to the peak, or the farther away you get from places that are most popular – the less likely you are to have an easy trail to follow. Life Lesson: Along those paths in life we travel, sometimes we’ll be on well-traveled roads. These roads – the roads of comfort, familiarity, mediocrity – they are roads traveled by many. And they are not necessarily good or bad. They just are. And they are roads we will travel on. All of us. And sometimes, that is good. Other times, though, if we really desire to reach our mountaintop, we’re going to have to get off the main paths. We’re going to have to blaze our own trails. Venture out into unknown territory.
- As we climb those mountains of our world, or even just heading out into the wilderness near us – there will be times when we fall down. When we slip on a rock. When there’s a stream to cross, and no bridge. When there are boulders in front of us that seem insurmountable. And we might get hurt. We might have to turn around. Or we might look for another way. Life Lesson: Obstacles. They are out there in our lives. And we’ll most certainly encounter them as we go through life. Will they be there on the new trails we’re forging toward our peak? Most definitely. We’ll stumble along the way in life. Our ego’s will be bruised. We might be broken financially or emotionally. Yet, that doesn’t mean we’re finished, or that our mountain peak isnt’ attainable. Maybe it means we have to retreat and regroup. Or look for a different way to the top. Or take a break. Maybe it even means this isn’t the mountain for us. This can be a good time for reflection, to really evaluate where we’re at. And if we come out of that saying it’s the wrong mountain, that’s fine. As we journey through life, what matters to us may change. Recognizing this is an important step – so that we can be climbing the right mountain for us. And if that means retreating because we’re now on the wrong mountain, that’s perfectly okay. Just as is taking a break, or retreating and regrouping before conquering the mountain again.
- Our mountain is there to climb, and we do. We take paths part of the way. We forge our own paths part of the way. We go up, down, sideways, stall, and repeat. Eventually we reach that peak. And the view from the peak is an awesome one, filled with the vastness of what we can see from here. And then we realize, this is a moment in time. We’re not going to stay on this peak. We’ll retreat back down the mountain. And while we’ll remember the peak, it’s the path taken up the mountain that made it all worth it. Life Lesson: With effort, our mountain peaks in life are reachable. The thing to remember, though, is that this peak is a moment in time. The peak is not a place we stay at. It’s a place to savor, for having reached it. And in reaching this life peak, we also remember that’s it’s the journey of getting there that has made it all so worth it. And then we move on. To the next mountain in our life.
The mountains of your life are out there. You are climbing them right now. Are they the mountains you want to be climbing? Have you taken the time to really know, deep within, if this mountain of life you’re on – if it’s the one you’re meant to be climbing at this moment? Find that mountain that has meaning to you, and climb!
“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So. . . get on your way.” ~ Dr. Seuss