My Monday Morning Everest

I am stood at the bottom of a mountain and I am wondering how I am going to get up it.

I’ve been walking for days now. I’m tired, my feet are blistered, I just can’t do it.

I look around for help, something or someone to encourage me, but all I can see is a faint outline of my own shadow at my feet. The clouds are especially low today.

I’m alone.

What haven’t I made it yet? Why do I feel like I am not even close? I’ve been climbing the same mountain for days. Surely this it is. Why has nothing changed?

Oh, but things have changed. Things have changed a lot. Things look different, they feel different.

I’m not sure how though.

My mind spirals back to a few weeks ago, when I began this journey. Everything was beautiful. The sun shone so vividly in the blue skies above me, embracing me, encasing me in a warm glow. The flowers were bright too, wearing smiles as they offered up their sweet smells. The butterflies danced around me, leading the way.

But now it’s cold.

The earth is bare and hard underneath my trodden boots. The flowers have long since disappeared and the path is icy. The sun has stopped greeting me in the morning. It stays hidden behind the clouds that now engulf me.

I haven’t seen a butterfly in days.

My breath is heavier now. Each step I take feels harder than the last. I have to stop a lot more to rest, to regain my rhythm that now just sounds like a worn out speaker.

I just don’t want to be here anymore.

But you haven’t reached the summit yet! You must keep going!

A small voice inside me breaks the dead silence. Some crows startle in the distance.

So there is some life left up here.

But I’m tired. I haven’t seen a living soul in days. I haven’t seen any sign to say I’m on the right path. Perhaps I’m lost. Perhaps this is all there is now. Perhaps I should just give up.

But you haven’t seen the sunrise over the mountains yet! You haven’t seen the best bit!

The small voice protests again, this time a little louder. This time I listen.

Well that is true. I haven’t seen the sunrise over the mountains yet. Isn’t that what I set out to do?

I set my backpack on the ground to relieve the weight knotting my back. I open it up. There’s a lot in there. There’s a lot weighing me down.

I take some things out and set them on the ground beside me.

I fasten the bag up and slip the straps over my shoulders. Ahh, that’s better. It feels a little lighter now. It doesn’t hurt me anymore.

Maybe I can carry on a bit further.

The clouds open up ever so slightly, just enough for me to peek through them. I look behind me. Far in the distance I can just about make out where I started off from. I have to squint to make it out, but I see it.

No wonder I’m so exhausted, I say to myself. Just look how far I’ve come!

This gives me a flicker of hope.

I turn back around to face the path in front of me. I take one deep breath and once again I start over.

It’s going to be a beautiful sunrise at the top.

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