This is a story about a girl, who lived on a mountain. The air was fresh and clean, the birds sang. Every morning she was the first to greet the rising sun, and the last to see it set. Every day was an adventure, a discovery, a challenge. There were rough times, there were days storms blew over her little cabin, days where the rain and hail beat hard against her windows and days the wind blew so strong she was afraid it would topple her over. Yet she stood strong and the storms always passed and the sun shown again and life was at peace.
Life was good, but there were days she look to the valleys below and wondered what lay there. The travelers she met from those lands told her the mountain tops were better, yet they would look towards those shadow lands with a strange longing in their eyes that made her doubt their words. She heard many stories about life there, some terrifying, but some strangely appealing. In her heart she wondered how a place could be both good and bad at the same time, but she never had the overwhelming desire to visit those lands. Although some stories she heard were alluring, as she looked down below there seemed to be a sinister darkness that shadowed over that place.
But one day, in the midst of a storm, she decided that perhaps the valley life was better then the mountaintop. There seemed to be no storms there, only stillness. She decided she would journey only slightly closer – just to get a better look. After all, discovery never hurt anyone. And at any moment she could choose to journey back to the beloved mountaintop that was her home.
Little did she know that the journey down was a winding and slippery slope. At first everything seemed wonderful – the winds now longer blew so strongly, and strange calmness and stillness filled the air. So she journeyed just a little further, and a little further down the mountain. Some days she would look up at the mountain and wonder if indeed life was better there. But as she watched the winds blowing in the tree’s , she told herself that she was better here – where there was calm and peace.
But the further she climbed down, the thicker the air became. She began to feel weak and tired. The path, once so clear and clean – was now filled with rocks and slippery patches. And now, she found herself slipping further and further down – no longer of her own accord. Strange voices began to haunt her, hands reached out to pull her further – and she found herself too weak to call for help.
Friends from the mountaintop began to call her, to plead with her to return. They threw ropes down into the abyss for her to cling to. Yet they could not pull her up, she had to make each tiring step back up the mountain. And tiring it was, many times she would spend days climbing, only to slip and find herself back where she had come from. There were days she wanted to quit, days she felt it wasn’t worth the effort. And then she would look at the sun, shining above the mountain, and it would give her strength to journey on.
This has been her life for the past few years – climbing, slipping, getting up and climbing again. There were times she almost reached the peak, only to hit rough patch and slide even further down. And now she stands at the foot of the mountain, looking towards the top. There awaits all she hopes and dreams for. There was the life she once knew, but has now almost forgotten. There birds sang, the sun shone, the air was fresh and clean. Where she stands it is dark and damp and an eary stillness fills the air. She longs for the freedom, she longs for her old life once again – but she dreads the journey. She knows the process well – there is pain , her feet are cut and bloody, her skin is bruised and torn from the many times she trips along the way. She knows the fatigue, the tiredness, the feeling of hopelessness. And most importantly she knows that once she starts climbing, she can never stop. There are no rest points along the way, she is either climbing upward or slipping slowly downward.
But on days she doubts, on days she doesn’t feel strong enough, on days the pain is almost too much to bear she looks towards the light, and it gives her strength. It gives her hope that although it will be a rough and rugged climb she will some day reach the top. And once she does, she will never go back to the valleys. She will reach the top battered and bruised – but not broken. She will reach the top strengthened because of her climb, and she will be able to help others because of the valuable experience she has gained.
This is my story, and this is my journey. I’m tired, but not quitting. And although I doubt in my own strength sometimes, although I don’t know if I’m strong enough, I know as long as I keep looking towards the light I will make it to the top.
Every journey starts with the first step, and every morning I will choose to make that step.