Have you ever climbed a mountain or even the local ski hill just to get away and think? About what you’re doing with yourself, whether it be your job, your family, school, or even about the meaning of life (whatever that means to you)?
Now, I come by mountain climbing naturally having been raised in the mountains and accustomed to having a mountain to climb outside my back door. This was the perfect opportunity for a teenage boy to take the dogs for a hike, hang your feet over a cliff, and view the distant highway, wondering where everyone was going and how important was it that they got there.
Sitting High, Thinking High
There’s something to be said about sitting on a mountain or hilltop and thinking about life and your place in it. Whether you’re looking down, across, or up; placing yourself above the swarm gives you the quiet you need to catch your breath, look inside, and ponder.
Probably what’s most important is that you’ve taken a risk, you’re getting away from the distraction of others and of things and going to a place that demands that you just watch. You’ve given yourself those few moments when you can let go and become that observer from a distance. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!
Far too often we let the busyness of life get in the way of reflecting on who we are and where we are going. We allow ourselves to “get caught up in the grind” and sometimes let ourselves forget…or ignore…what is significant. What are those things we hold to be true and that give meaning to our lives?
Taking that deliberate walk to the top of the nearest peak allows us to move above the good and the bad that we find ourselves to be living in. Stopping to sit and look down allows us to view those things…and those people…from a distance and reflect on the quality they/it bring to us and we bring to them/it.
That physical separation, taking the time to be with ourselves, counting our blessings and our curses will bring to light their reality and importance. It’s easy enough to feel like you’ve isolated yourself when you sit on that mountain. But, in reality, you will realize the importance of those things that are meant to be important and you will plan ways to peel off those things that must be let go.
Are You Coming Down Wiser?
Arguably, you’ve gone high to think high. But are you coming back reinvigorated, focused, and knowing what you must do next? Or are you coming down…literally? Even feeling more depressed and lost than when you climbed up?
We must be very deliberate and focused when we come down from our mountain. You went up to pause, to breathe, to view…not the view but your view. But any value is lost if you don’t bring resolution back down with you. Resolve to keep the good, even make it better, and lose the bad, regardless how long that takes.
You may not have created a 10-step plan to succeed or do better but you have recognized those things that must remain and those things that must change. You have made some decisions or had some insights into what must change and what can safely stay the same. If you don’t do – and act – on these then hopefully you at least enjoyed the view up there.
Tell Me Of Your Experience
Have you had a mountaintop experience, even a “eureka moment” that you would like to share? My most recent one was staring at the stars from the small hill across from our house (that’s the one in the picture) and feeling awed by the vastness of the universe.
And I didn’t feel small or insignificant but, rather, a part of the whole…and I realized that I did mean something, but I couldn’t keep myself focused on earthly things or pleasures. There are bigger things involved here.
Since that time, I had my son (the artist) paint a picture of the universe with tiny stars and add the word, “Drift” – I want to drift through the universe in amazement. But first, let me be amazed here on earth.
Thank you for reading.