Recognize the Mountains

“Because it’s there.”

-George Mallory

This gap semester has allowed me to make money, take confidence in spending time by myself, be with my family, and develop my passions.

On top of that, it has given me the breath to look back on the mountains I have climbed these past 18 years; I am standing on top of them. Looking towards the mountains to come, I’ve learned to find excitement in being able to, one day, stand on top of those as well. Whether I am halfway up, falling down, or sprinting towards the peak, I’ll get there.

Because it’s there; because I’m willing.

Bear with me, this is going to get metaphorical, but it has taught me an incredible lesson.

This past weekend I went to Colorado. Specifically, I went to Guanella Pass and drove to the very top. It was beautiful – it is in the mountains, the air was crisp and cool, the sun warmed my face; it was green, it was orange, it was yellow. Above the treeline, all you could see was the blue of the sky against the rocks on the top of the world.

This time of year, Guanella Pass is the most perfect drive – specifically because you watch the Aspens change color. You see the green, the yellow, the orange, and a small few are already bare. For one thing, it shows you how great our God is. Each leaf falls because of his breath and hand. On top of that, it shows how earnest, beautiful, and pure our planet is. It is a place where you can close your eyes and breath in the air of a season-changing while watching it with your own eyes. It puts into perspective how small we are among the towering rocks.

Halfway up the mountain, I unbuckled (sorry dad!!) and stood on my chair above the Jeep and above the trees. I have never felt so free in such a beautiful way. Colors were blurring across my eyes, the wind was rippling through my windbreaker, my laugh echoed in the canyon; my heart was full.

This would be a blast for anyone, I would assume. But I also realized how beautiful it is to climb these mountains, climb any mountain for that matter, especially the ones we face as individuals.

While on the middle of our mountains, at times never wanting to leave and at times wanting nothing more than to give up, maybe our hearts just need to stand on our seat, arms out wide, and breathe in the beauty of where we are. Because in reality, the most beautiful thing is the mountain itself, and it just gets more beautiful with each slow climb. 

At times we are the trees; high on hope and high on fear. Stuck on the side of a mountain without knowing what is going to happen, changing colors, letting leaves go. But oh my, they show us just how beautiful it is to let things go. Just how beautiful it is to climb.

When you feel stuck, when you don’t want the mountain in front of you, just close your eyes. Feel the wind, smell the air. Notice the beauty around you and the gift it is to climb.  I am joyous, amidst times of a hellish climb, because it is there – because I am here –  and because I’m willing to see the beauty at its peak.

Just look at how pretty this place is:

And look at this smile whilst embracing the beauty of it, standing on my seat:

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Note to Self: Stand up, breath in the mountain air, and hear yourself laugh. Don’t worry about the mountains you have to climb, for you’re already standing on top of the other ones you thought you couldn’t.

Until next time,

Kate