The Ascent: Lost in the Landslide of Life
Lost in the Landslide of Life
Let me paint a portrait—a picture of my life. You see the smiles in my photos and through my words catch a glimpse of the mountain moments. Standing on top of a conquered mountain is such a great place from which to speak and share. The air is crisp and the high perspective makes all seem clear. The climb doesn’t seem so bad once you’re at the top. This I’ve discovered about myself—I love to write from mountaintops.
But you see, much of my life consists of climbing. Most of my steps reflect the struggle to soar—the challenge of the ascent always before me. Rocks crumble and I lose my footing and what seems solid often gives way. It’s not just you—I stumble and slide down the mountain too.
Sometimes the storms come and the thunder threatens me in its booming voice: “Leave. This mountain is too grand and you are too small.” It mocks me with thunder laughs that echo in the valley, teasing, “You will fail, you will fall—once and for all.”
These are the times when I must choose each step with precision. These are the times when I must sing and shout so loudly that the voice of the thunder is drowned out by declarations of my decisions—of what shall be but has manifested not. I must remember the truth that I sought that what I once knew I forgot. I search for thoughts of hope I’d once caught. There is no guarantee that the storm will ever cease. My only hope is to climb and shout through the storm and to hope that as I rise my strength will increase.
My feelings rebel and my emotions try to drown me in self-pity. I feel imprisoned in a forgotten, abandoned city. Thick fog obstructs what has always been, before this moment, so clear. My body tells me to stop and my muscles tremble in despair and fear. Everything in me says, “Give up! Make a life for yourself right here.”
There is a little light—a faint voice—a whisper of wisdom from another age, from another day. It is barely noticeable when shrouded in such darkness but I know that it is there and that it can make a way. Like a candle in the wind one puff of resistance can blow it out. But previous journeys have taught me the power of letting the little light out.
I protect it—I nurture it—I hide it from the wind and the rain. I encourage it to grow and promise it a place in my heart and mind and to let it expose my pain. It begins to grow and as it expands I ascend into the free. The voice of truth becomes stronger and the light burns brighter, making clearer the path before me. The winds howl but the light pays no heed. It leads me upward and asks only that I see and agree.
The light and I become intertwined—I sing its song as it rewrites mine. I have embraced it and now it carries me. I have agreed with it and now it empowers me. I believed against all odds and now it creates a path of escape where once one was not to be seen.
I reach the top of the mountain—above the clouds—the storm beneath my feet. I am overcome by the presence of its heat. I bask in the light—it permeates this place—it creates an illuminating space. How was it ever so contained, so small? When now it is everything, everywhere, it is all? I hide a little flame in my pocket—just in case I forget—just in case I fall. And then I remember, I’ve been here before. I forgot, in the landslide, that I was born to soar.
I know a new mountain will come along and a new storm emerge. How quickly will I again be caught in the surge? I so easily forget in the darkness what has been learned in the sun. This time I put light in two pockets, not one. This time I prepare a little bit more so I’ll remember the light I have stored. The next time I become undone, I’ll reach into my pockets and pull out the sun. And next time, instead of climb, I will soar, because I’ll remember that in the light, the light I become.
I simply love to write using metaphors. They explain life in ways that just make sense. If you enjoyed what you just read, check out some more of my metaphor poems and reflections: