Welcome Friends -
Sorry I missed last week. Was visiting family and dealing with the aftermath of a storm and then some business issues that came up.
This week’s post is written with a pondering heart while resting on ‘the hill’ and is a gift for each of you who ‘climb the hill’ and ponder.
I hope you enjoy….
It is dark as I climb the hill,
so dark I see no horizon. No moon. No stars. Only dark. I move slowly, arms outstretched, feeling for trees to steer clear of, branches to grab and stones to avoid so as not to trip and stumble. I am sore, bruised and weary. What is this hill I climb? Why am I here? Why do I climb it? What sits at the top? Why do I seek it?
I stop and sit -to rest and to ponder these things. Sitting thus, looking down into the blackness from where I have come, it looks no different than from where I am going – all is darkness.
Why am I climbing this hill?
Because it’s here.
But why am I here?
Because I’m alive.
I live – therefore I climb.
I’ve climbed this hill all my life. When I was born the hill was small. It was easy to climb – more fun than effort. I laughed a lot then, not focused on climbing but more intent on having fun. I don’t think I thought it was a hill then. I don’t think I thought much about anything then.
I think I was just happy and enjoyed that the hill was there.
I didn’t ask questions about the hill back then.
I was about nine when I started climbing the hill for real. Of course, the hill had grown too. It was higher and broader and it wasn’t just a smooth grassy slope any longer, neither. It was growing trees and bushes. Some were rooted well making a strong purchase when grabbed.
I slipped a lot then. But, I’d pick myself up and continue climbing.
During the years that followed I continued to climb the hill and the hill continued to change. It became steeper and the at times the grass gave way to sand and shale giving me little traction, forcing me to my knees – crawling more than climbing. Rocks began protruding out from the ground, some very small, many very large needing to be shuffled around or crawled over.
Sheer cliffs rose in my path, needing to be scaled.
There were fissures, crevices, wide gaps and craggy outgrowths along the way. Deep caverns and dark caves presented themselves to be either explored, ignored or to disappear into, swallowed up by the hill. I avoided those places.
Sometimes springs and waterfalls sprouted out from the hill, some clean, pure and refreshing – some bitter and poisoned. Some were small trickles that shimmered and gurgled…
others were torrents that threathened to carry me away.
There was a time when the hill was angry with me. It fought me, threw rocks and stones at me, sprouted thistles and briars in its bushes and grew hard, sharp thorns in its trees. I was bloodied and bruised, scrapped and torn. I fought the hill back and I kept climbing.
After a while, the anger left the hill and I didn’t fight it any more. But the obstacles remained. They were fewer and spaced more apart but they seemed larger and were more rooted with greater resistance than before. The trees became massive and were firmly planted into the hill. I can’t pull them out so I’ve learned to go around them.
Sometimes there’s strange animals sharing the hill with me.
They stare and watch my progress.
Sometimes they scare me.
As I sit and ponder these things, I realize I’ve never understood the hill. Once I started to climb, I considered it a chore – as work – as my destiny. I think back to when I was that small child playing innocently at the base of the hill, loving the hill, thinking of it as my friend – my place to play in. I wonder when the hill changed and from where did all these rocks, thorns and dark caves come from.
When did it cease being fun? Being my friend?
Then I realize, the hill didn’t change – I did. It was my loss of innocence my love for the hill that caused the change. I brought the thorns and briars. I created the cracks and gaps in the ground.
And I wonder why it’s taken me so long to know this.
I live and therefore I climb.
I don’t know what I will find at the top of the hill, but I know someday I’ll reach it. Will it be the end of the journey or the end of the beginning? Are there other hills to climb? Will there be rest and fulfillment or will there be nothing?
I rouse myself from my musings and I notice it’s not as black as it was. The slightest diffusion of light particles filter into the blackness, too few and scattered to be called a glow. But I welcome them into my soul, these beacons of enlightenment. Along with the light comes a peace. A peace that displaces the questions and fear. Whatever lies at the top of the hill – it will be okay. There will be more hills to climb. This is only a foothill – a proving ground for the real mountains I’ve yet to climb.
The dawn breaks over the crest of the hill and the rays of the sun ignite my hill like a blazing torch. It is radiant and glows bright like fire. I lift my eyes and all around me are hills and on each hill there is a person and they are all climbing. Some are near the top, some near the bottom, many sit as I have… pondering their hill.
They live and therefore they climb…
…we climb and therefore we live.
I rise, refreshed – renewed, I understand now and I turn to face my hill, looking into the radiant light flooding the top like a golden crown.
Squinting my eyes, I look ahead – I see a grassy slope…
…the Creator awaits me.
What would you say about your hill? Add a paragraph to this post in the comment section. Tell us what you would say – we want to know.
Until Next Time:
Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are