This week I found myself walking up a hill. The hill was metaphoric and literal. The literal hill is one I have walked up and down many times. I know that it’s a good hill to stretch my legs and get my heart rate up. On this particular morning I was walking up the hill after a very invigorating conversation with a good friend. We had met for a walk and ended it with a shared breakfast and well meaning direct conversation. I was grateful for my friend’s insight and reminder that I always make it through the challenges in my life.
So, I find myself walking home after my visit with my friend, I am walking hard, my head is down and I am concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. I am just getting to the top. It’s all uphill – literally! And then, I noticed that I could see the top and I could feel the success of reaching it. The top in sight I relaxed a little and paused. I looked around. I noticed the beauty surrounding me, the vegetation along the trail, the view of the distant mountains, and I realized that I was near the top. I am feeling the effect of a good workout and liking it! I also noticed that I had been walking with my head down, aware of, but not really paying attention to, everything along my path. I became aware that walking up that hill with my head down, concentrating on my steps and my workout was exactly what was needed and I had now reached the place to rest and look around. As I contemplated my surroundings I could see how far I had come, I could see the steep path that I had navigated and I realized that the rest of the hill would be easier. I could see my destination and I knew I had made it through the hardest part.
I realized as I stood there at the vista that I had also found myself on the metaphorical hill. That I had been working through a challenge in my life in much the same way as I had just hiked that hill. I had been putting one foot in front of the other, keeping my head down (mostly) and had been aware of, but not really paying attention to, everything around me. In that moment I gave a huge thanks for the friend that I had shared my morning with, for surely, I had reached the place on the path to pause, look around, notice how far I have come, and trust that although I cannot see the top, I do know it is there and that I will reach it and pass it and my journey will continue.
I am reminded that there are many paths that lead to One God and there are many paths on which I will find myself during this life journey. I remind myself to walk hard when I need to and to rest as often as needed, to enjoy the hills, the valleys and the flat parts for they are all the paths of my life. And through it all I remind myself to lift up my eyes, lift up my thoughts, lift up my heart, to notice the beauty of the moment, the sacred ground which I walk upon, the friends and support that line my path. I know that every hill is rich with blessings every step of the way!