There will be times when you feel you are facing something insurmountable. There are boulders on the path, making you tread carefully, dodging them as you go. Gravel crumbles and gives way beneath you. This body, that you always thought was so strong, so capable...it fails you. You grasp and clutch at the trees, pulling yourself upwards, out of this darkness. You push against those solid trunks, heaving yourself off of them, higher. You think if you can just go a little further, just a bit...you will make it. But more stumbling. You fall. It hurts. You bleed. You pick yourself up...no, you crawl back up and dig your feet deep into the earth. You again heave. You pant and blow. It's much harder than you ever thought it would be. It seemed like such a small hill from the distance, but here, in the thick of it, it's a looming mountain. A giant. You don't know if you can do this. You start to feel shaky with fear. But up ahead...you see something!
Just a little further now...and there is light! Sunshine and open expanse. You are exhausted but you are amazed at how much clearer everything seems now. Only moments before you felt you couldn't go on and now...now, you are basking in the glow. Warmth eases your aching body. Relief floods you. You could stand right here, on this very spot, a speck on the earth, forever. You never want to leave. You want to relish every moment...you made it! Such an accomplishment deserves savouring. You are feeling rather proud of yourself...rather amused at the extent of your pain a little earlier. That? Oh, that was nothing. Nothing...compared to this!
But it gets even better. You want more. You slip down to the shore. Closer, nearer the water...oh, yes. This is where your soul resides. Water. Cooling. Cleansing. It speaks. Life. It flows and meanders. It whets your parched lips. It restores peace to your heart. The agonizing hours before, during the climb, seem a far-off faded memory. Did that really happen? Or was it all a dream? But something else suddenly comes over you. Humbly. A realization. You didn't get here on your own. Oh no. Something outside of you...something outside of time, even...helped you in your hour of desperation. You were weak. You needed strength. And suddenly, you had the strength to go on. It was there, in the shadows, watching as you struggled. You were never alone. It was there. Waiting. For you to cry out. And look! You are here now. In this place. This blessed place of calm.
Your pain will come again. That's guaranteed. You will struggle again, no doubt. You will hurt. You will scream, yell, fall down and weep. But, my dear, you will get up again. You will be able to handle the mountains, for there will always be a valley down below and the promise of something more to guide you there. The hope. A respite from the dark places. A new joy, where the vast sky stretches out above you and the warm rays of the sun comfort you. And the helper will be there, beside you...as you sigh...