Falling Up The Mountain
“The period of greatest gain in knowledge and experience is the most difficult period in one’s life.” - Dalai Lama
This has infused itself into my brain for a while, and I go back to it all the time when I’m feeling like the goals I set for myself are all too high. They aren’t really. I recently read that the size and weight of your challenges is a test of the strength of your self. Like lifting weights – your muscles work at the best of their strength when they’re met with a weight that is as big as you can handle. So, I look at my challenges like weight lifting. It is also immeasurably true that I will never give up. I do not want to give up this path that I’m on. I’m not going to resign myself to not achieving my dreams or my goals. Never. Ever. I will be the pioneer who keeps going through the snow and the forest because she knows there’s a glowing candle on a wooden table somewhere at the edge of winter.
My mountain was deceptively skirted by grass at the base, and gave way to denser and denser forests, always on an incline. It felt good to walk uphill, feel myself stronger, more knowledgeable. Soon the forests gave way to clarity, and I rested on the steppes for a while. Now I’m climbing even higher – and I’m quite alone now on this treacherous path. I must count on all that I have learned. There was only room for one. Sometimes I send for a helping hand, but when everyone around me is climbing their very own mountain they take a while to come. I don't blame them, how can I when the rocks are jagged and the fall is immense? But my feet are firmly planted, and I can breathe the fresher air at the top of this mountain, I can rest on the boulders and push some of them off the dirt road. Rest, absorb the advice of others , read some notes from the side of the path. Soon I’ll get to the top. Why? Why am I climbing? For what reason do I need to get to the top? Because I can see the people I love there. They have sleighs. Some skis, suitcases that are gateways to other worlds coloured like pink and golden sunshine. I may be kidding myself. But that is what I see.
The mountain is made of learning, pages of chemistry notes, historical dates, math equations, other peoples words for me to analyse should I want to get to the top. Word upon word. Each step is a word, each word is a step. From the top this mountain, it must feel amazing, I think. To stand upon the stacks of soft edged pages that I scribbled upon, to feel under my feet the study guides that are bound like the steppes themselves. I'll never have to look at them again. Results, like pebbles I can throw or keep in my pocket. Soon I know I’ll be able to lay on this mountain of work and let my efforts in getting there for it soak right through all the layers as I lay looking at the clouds, able to breathe, calm. Then I’ll ski down, and make it for that other mountain, the taller one, and I'll begin to climb. I'll let other people walk along the paths I made up this mountain, to find the pebbles and steppes for themselves. I’m leaving nice things for you all along the way. Advice, note books, a sharpener, and a smile. (I should note, it's April, almost May, you know SPRING ,and it is currently snowing on this Scottish mountain.) It will be nicer for you. That is my intention. I might even come back and visit with gifts from other mountains. It is all of life, and life is amazing.
Alas, I'm still quite far from the mountain top. My first exam is on Friday, and I have four more to follow it. Schools would tell you that these few days aren't really worth it- if you haven't learned it by now, you never will- but I disagree. A day, 24 hours even can make all the difference. Besides, you're too near the top to stop climbing now.