What a magnificent day. Last night was perfect weather for Halloween. It was a clear night with a full moon and this morning the bright sun illuminating the kaleidoscope of fall colours was heart warming. Fall is a spectacular time of year. It represents change and growth. The fall leaves change colour in preparation for winter in anticipation of spring. The circle of life. The colours are breath taking. On some streets the leaves are all red while most are Halloween orange.
The Canadian flag contains a red maple leaf symbolic of Fall and the transformation it brings.
Lynyrd Skynyrd's song Simple Man states troubles will come and they will pass. Indeed they will. No storm lasts forever. Seasons change. Summer yields to fall, Fall yields to winter and Winter yields to Spring. It's like the tides of the ocean. I remember going through a very difficult time many years ago and read a scripture in Job that said "thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away. " At the time I didn't think that was possible but the image of writing the pain in the sand only having it to be washed away with the tide stuck with me. Eventually it became completely true. All the pain was gone and only the good remained.
There has been a lot of people struggling with depression during the lockdowns and some talk of suicide. I would never judge someone for giving up. I would simply encourage them to hang on. As Dr Schuller would say "Toung times don't last but tough people do."
I do a lot of hiking and snowshoeing. Or at least I did. I remember one year I paused before summitting Hollyburn ridge. A young girl came barreling up the mountain and said OK that' it. I'm done. I smiled and said to her you're almost there. If you take a break and summit that one last ridge, the view is spectacular. You can see the city, the Lions and mountains in the back country as far as the eye can see. It's well worth it. She jokingly said OK, whatever, lets listen to the mountain man and charged ahead one last time.
I caught up with her at the top and said see, it was worth it wasn't it? Yes it was she replied. I said did you see the Lions? No, she said so I pointed them out to her. She said oh I thought you lied about that. My point is often in life we give up right before we reach the summit and never get to see the view we were meant to see. When things would go wrong my mother always used to say tomorrow will be a better day. I would grit my teeth and say no it won't yet sure enough, the next day things would be better. It's always darkest before the dawn. If we quit in the darkness, we never get to see what the new day brings.
Hard work is the means of all accomplishment. There is no joy in life without it. Every goal has obstacles. If we focus on the obstacles instead of the goal, we miss the accomplishment.
Fall also represents the anticipation of new hope. Recently I was diagnosed with arthritis in my hip. Arthritis? Me? I climb mountains. I'm forever young. The doctor says there's no cartilage left. It's bone on bone and then asks me how's the pain? I said it was like someone was using a dental tool on the ball socket but it has eased up a bit. Then he asks on a scale of 1 -10 how painful is it? I'm like compared to what? Childbirth? I'm a big guy and it was painful.
So now I have to decide if I take the quick fix and get back climbing mountains or do I struggle with reduced mobility for the rest of my life. I suppose it's a no brainer. I guess kicking the tire with my shins all those years was really bad for my hip. I'm going to have to change. Make a few adjustments. I'm going to have to evolve. Embrace the change. Good things are coming.
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