I find myself hanging onto the side of a mountain.
I’m clinging for dear life to my handhold as a blizzard howls around me. The path that I thought I would take has long since been abandoned, and I find myself in a peculiar place, neither good nor bad. It is simply different than where I intended to be.
Along the way to this place, I’ve found amazing people that have climbed with me. Some have left, taking different paths. Some I’ve lost along the way because the blizzard swept them away. Others have tried to push me off the mountain out of spite.
No matter what though, I’ve kept climbing. I’m always climbing.
Never stationary. Always moving. Forward. I must push onward. I must be a better person than I was when I was lower on this mountain of life. That’s what it means to be human.
Sometimes though, as I’m climbing, the view takes my breath away.
Millions of trees burning as the flames begin to engulf the world around the mountain. The smoke rises, blackening the sky. The sun shines faintly behind the clouds of insanity and sadness, the smoke of our mistakes mixing in with them.
Sometimes, I cry while I’m climbing. It seems like the world is aflame, and my mind is on fire along with it. I desperately try to put out the flame and salvage what’s left, but I have to keep replacing so many parts that I worry my mind isn’t even the same as it was in the beginning. And as the endless flames keep on reigniting inside of my mind, laying waste to all my judgments, to my ego, to all my notions of what is right, I simply ask myself, “What are you clinging on to?”
Sometimes, I laugh while I’m climbing. In these singular moments, I realize that the fire isn’t horrible or dangerous. It’s cleansing the world and myself. Just because the smoke makes it hard to see the sun doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It’s just waiting for me to finish climbing and rise above the smoke and clouds, so I can gaze at its beauty.
Sometimes, I want to stop climbing. My arms are weary. My head spins. My legs want to give out from underneath me. All that I’ve seen and done, all the hardships I’ve overcome to get where I am on this mountain, would just fall away into nothingness.
Yet, I’m always climbing. Never stopping. I cannot stop.
The mountain is the mountain that we all climb in life. And, as human beings, we are all always climbing. Even when we feel horribly mangled in procrastination, despair, and hatred, we are always climbing. Sometimes, we’re climbing down to a lower position, sometimes we’re climbing up, towards something different. But as humans, we are never not climbing.
It’s not in our nature.
And that is the beauty of our climb. The beauty of the mountain. Even though so many horrible things can transpire around us, we all keep climbing. Still trying, somehow, some way, to make it to the top. To be heard. To shout from the pinnacle of life, and finally feel as if it was all worth it.
And we aren’t alone in this. Every single person we meet is trying to do exactly the same. They even have the same problems climbing that we do. Some may have fewer problems, and some may have a few more. Some are tangled up horribly, and others are making great strides up the mountain.
There are many issues on this mountain, and sometimes we get angry at each other and lose sight of our common goal; to make it to the top of the mountain.
In these moments, we must remember our common experience of climbing, the common experience of living life.
We all cry when we climb the mountain. We all laugh. We all have moments of wishing we didn’t have to climb anymore. This mountain is our mountain.
No one is alone in this climb.
And, maybe one day, when we all learn how to see clearly, we’ll sprout wings and just fly to the top.
Never needing to cry again. Always laughing. Never needing to climb again.
And most of all, loving the mountain that we all live on.