You can either get up and get going early for a long day or you can stay where you are. It takes a brave person to start the hike and an even braver one to keep going. Sometimes when you think you have reached the rim you have merely stumbled back to the bottom of the valley. Heck, some days you slide back to the trailhead with no fault of your own! Sometimes the valley is bright and sunny. Other times the valley is dark, cold and full of spring mud.
Some days we choose to remain in the valley shadows. They comfort us and at the same time tell us to keep going. The valley was never the goal of the hike. The rim, the top that is always the goal. Bear with us as we struggle towards the top. At times we have to turn around, maybe the path has been washed out or isn’t feasible. We aren’t failures when we have to turn around. We just look for a new path. The sunny days in the valley are mostly sunny because we have people there to help carry our packs. To encourage without being oblivious to the lack view.
The best thing to say to someone in valley is not ‘it will get better or God has something better for you’ but ‘can I walk through this with you’. Having been through a valley before, that is what I want to hear. I am not ‘decorating my pit’ as someone put it but clearly we are here so please don’t talk about the view from the top to the folks stuck in spring mud in the shadows of the rim they aim to one day reach.
Not everyone makes it to the top of the rim at the same pace. We can’t make it to our peak in a day. In fact sometimes it takes several days. The packs are heavy and hard to carry the trail is tough and our feet are tired. Our rims and peaks are not the same. Some paths are well trotted and easy to spot. Others are untouched and we are the 1st to forge. At times we reach the rim only to discover it is but the beginning of a longer hike, one we were not prepared to take…perhaps this rim is but a small one in an even larger mountain range we could see.