Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mountains, Valleys & Plains

Do you live in a valley or on a mountain, or maybe on a flat plain?

Well in Brisbane it is very hilly, small almost invisible hills, but no road is flat.  There are no open vistas and every road twists and turns.  If you visit our local landmark Mt. Cootha with its lookout, Brisbane and surrounding areas look flat with a river that winds it way to the sea, but drive into those suburbs and the hills surround you. 

Now you may be wondering why I am rambling about the scenery - well it is because I have been thinking about life. 

I have realised that life is like scenery:

Sometimes we live in the valleys, walls surround us and we have to dig deep to keep going.  The sun is blocked out by the mountains surrounding us, and every time we look up, we see small patches of sunlight and blue sky. We see the challenges ahead to climb out. Valleys are beautiful places, they are protected and safe, but sometimes, they can also seem very low.  Valleys can be the lowest place in life and can keep us trapped. The need to move on and out becomes overwhelming and yet so daunting that we stay stuck.


Now, we can climb mountains - energy appears - a goal arrives and we strap on our gear and begin climbing.  Every step can be a challenge or a joy, but we keep moving upward and then we get to the top. The view is breathtaking!  Literally - breath-taking. We are tired from our climb so we rest. We look out and feel wonderful.  Everything is below us and we know we have arrived. For a while we sit and admire our achievements, indulge in the view and then what?

When we are on top of the mountain we have arrived, have succeeded, but as humans we need to move forward.  For most of us, being on top of the mountain is not enough - we look for the next mountain. Or we head back down into the next valley - the valley which is safe and protected. Alternatively, a wind comes along and knocks us off that mountain and we fall back into that valley or the next - the valley which we had climbed out of.

I guess the final place to live is on the plains - where the view extends forever.  In this place you can see far into the distance - the distance of the past and the distance of the future.  You know where you are, where you have been and where you are going.  This place sounds perfect - safe and peaceful. Yet, for so many, the plains are boring, no challenges, no growth and so we seek the mountains and the valleys. The plains are where most will live their lives.  They know their path and only seek variation along it.  It is a place of predictability and peace - a place where the known is wonderful.

I wonder where you live.  I know that I have lived in all three places in my life.  Mostly in the valleys and the mountains, sometimes on the plains. 

Which do I prefer?  I don't really know.  I love the open spaces of the plains - knowing where I have been and where I am going.  Valleys are low places for me; places of sadness and tiredness, but I do like to look up occasionally and know that there is something worth climbing out of.  And of course there is then the mountain - the place that I stand on occasionally & shout to the world -


and the world echoes back - we see you, and you are amazing.

Where are you living your life?  Which is your favourite place? 

I hope it is a combination of all three, or maybe a favourite place that satisfies all within your soul. So think about it today; do you choose the Mountain, the Valley or the Plains?


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Julie said... for thought Bev. I think I live mostly in a high alpine meadow..where you can't see too far ahead but what you can see is both lovely and challenging...and, with a little effort you can climb to the top and see where you've been and maybe even where you're going.