Thursday, July 01, 2010
An Uphill Climb
A long while ago, I had a dream about climbing a Mountain. I could almost see the summit but it was mostly obscured by Brush and Trees. I was situated in a Meadow and there were Trees around the perimeter. From the Meadow there were paths that led deeper into the Forest and I suppose, farther up the Mountain.
There were people in the Meadow and some were taking different paths further into the Trees. Some were resting, their heads placed upon old, mossy Logs...Trees which had fallen to their final resting place. And some were returning down the Mountain.
I was a watcher in my dream. It felt as if I were floating, unseen, amongst the other hikers in my dream. I noticed some had backpacks and other equipment, some carried blankets and pillows, some had walking sticks...and some had nothing at all.
I watched hikers coming into the Meadow, each one exuberant and full of life...happy to be there. I watched people taking paths further up the Mountain...their demeanour focused and serious. I watched those who were well prepared leave as if for a great adventure. And those people who had nothing with them...well, some were happy-go-lucky, seemingly choosing a path at random and simply beginning to climb. But some of the unprepared people seemed discouraged to me, as if it was all just too much of an effort.
I noticed these people eventually went back the way they came.
This was one of those dreams which stayed with me. The Meadow felt welcoming; I did not want to leave it. There were friends and family who moved on, yet for me...it was a safe and comforting place.
I've thought about it often. And I've wondered when the time will come for me to move on, farther up that Mountain. I've wondered if it is time to take on another challenge, another climb requiring more courage, commitment and directed effort.
The thought of another challenge makes me tired; hence, my long sojourn in the Meadow. But eventually, an opportunity will arise and I will long to climb those Mountain paths, once again. The difficulty of each path may be less if I am prepared for it, this time.
I consider my life and the paths I have taken throughout. I don't believe I was ever prepared for any of them, choosing instead to wander along, taking each challenge as it came, with faith that I would make it through. And because I was ill-prepared for most of them, failure was not unusual. But with each challenge, each Cliff, or Rock wall, or Lake that stood in my path...I learned.
And so, I feel a bit surer that I am coming closer to taking the path which will lead to the summit of the Mountain. But the Meadow is seductive. It induces a feeling of comfort and security...a feeling of wanting to stay where there are no challenges to confront.
There will be no inner growth, if I choose to stay in the sunny, warm, Flower-filled Meadow.
It is my choice, of course, whether or not I want to evolve further, if I want to climb higher up that Mountain. Do I want to make more choices that influence the rest of my life? Each challenge contains a lesson; each lesson leads me further towards the summit of the Mountain.
I have a feeling that whichever path I choose will be difficult in spots, will seem clear and direct at times, and it may turn suddenly in a direction that surprises me. And what happens when the path forks, as paths will?
I understand, as well, that no path is more difficult or easier than any other. I think the degree to which it is is up to me.It is what I make it.
And if I ever reach the summit of the Mountain, I know it is not the end of the journey. I will continue to rise, transcending my life's purpose.
But still...In my dream, I stayed in the Meadow, flitting here and there, checking the people who slept, watching the high spirits of the people who had decided to continue on ever higher, and realizing that the ones who decided to come down will eventually climb again.
I believe I am trying to forget, there in the sprightly Meadow, that life is supposed to be a challenge. It is the effort of climbing ever upward that creates the fire within me to carry on and strengthen my Spirit.
Right now, I am happy in the Meadow. In future days or months or years, I will be ready to further my personal evolution. It is up to me as to when.
But I must tell you, I am beginning to feel a little behind. I am beginning to want to climb...I just need a tiny bit of further rest.
Climbing ever upward on that life's path to the summit of the Mountain does take it out of me.I have taken a few forays on some of the paths, but none so far have resonated deep within me.
But...just over there, around the bend, is a pathway I have not tried. It is calling, and I am ignoring the call, as yet. It is one that may be lonely and difficult...I don't see too many people taking it.
I will take my time preparing for it. Preparing...a word I don't know much about. And I know even if I am ready in all ways, there will be times I will wish I had never begun.
But that's what life is all about.