Monday, March 5, 2007

The View from the Top

I don't think I will ever climb Mount Everest. But I did reach a pass in the foothills of the Peruvian Andes that was 14,000 feet above sea level. Just two years ago, I climbed Mount Lassen with my son's 7th grade class. Climbing a mountain is one of those accomplishments that you keep with you for the rest of your life. Oh, I climbed such and such once... Why? It was the process that was all important. The challenge, pushing yourself to keep going when you were tired, visualizing the view from the top, stopping to rest when you needed to. Sometimes it is just one foot in front of the other.

Then you are at the top. The view is glorious. Not only are you seeing the natural world, but you glimpse your internal self-- the will power, the commitment, the strength that pulled you to this place. You feel accomplishment, success and simple joy.

Birth is like this. I always seem to use that analogy of Mount Everest. Really, any mountain will do. Birth is a pinnacle moment when you will see out onto the world, solid in yourself and yet looking out upon the view with new eyes, your baby in your arms. Birth is hard, challenging, unyielding. Yet, when you reach the top, the view will be glorious.

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