Maybe you have been assigned this mountain
to show others it can be moved.
There are times in our lives, when we are looking up at life’s mountain, a bloody great big mountain, as my Aussie descendants would say.
Tall and foreboding. As wide as the ocean. Touching the sky. It’s colossal bulk leering over you. An ominous shadow that just won’t shift.
It is terrifying and can render one incapable of moving forward or back. Motionless. Stuck in the one place.
We are in that place today. We have been here before and we will be here again. Of that, I have no doubt.
Jobs come and go, friendships change, people get hurt, people get sick.
It’s life for sure, but damn – it’s a hard place to be in.
If you had asked me eight years ago, I would have said having twins was that mountain before me.
Six children under the age of 13, we had just moved across the world from the UK to re-settle once again, in Australia.
I was as sick as a dog pregnant with two humans. We were re-establishing our lives – new employment, picking up friendships, letting others sift through our hands, desperately trying to find our feet.
That was our mountain – life. Keeping it all ticking over.
I practically didn’t leave the house for six months. Instead, my new abode was our $10 second-hand Ikea couch, sourced from Gumtree late one night, when I couldn’t stand sitting on the hard wooden floor boards anymore, whilst we waited for our shipment of furniture to arrive from England.
And I provided food for two hungry babies, from my body. Well, actually one hungry baby who stole her sister’s milk, and one lazy baby who was too chilled to acquire the milk. Preferred it poured down her throat. That sort of thing.
I didn’t shower much. Felt like my skin had stretched beyond what was humanly possible. And prayed like mad my insides would somehow, all miraculously, find a way back to some semblance of normality. Hoped I could pee one day without leaking. Wondered if I would ever be able to run again without my guts feeling like they were all jiggling about in my body. Or even if I would have the energy, ever, to run again.
I look back on that mountain now, eight years later, with fondness.
Because I realise, now, we moved that mountain.
In fact, we conquered it. We pushed it back, bit by bit, every single day.
It wasn’t anything quantitive at the time.
It was all the minute, tiny things – like cleaning the kitchen, bathing babies, washing their clothes, picking roses from the garden, talking to a friend, sipping coffee, being kind to my husband, allowing myself to eat cake without guilt.
That mountain was survival.
And we survived. More than survived. We thrived.
We just didn’t realise it at the time.
So, now, we look up at the menacing form once again.
And predictably, I wonder how we will ever shift it, or even begin to tackle that big buggar of voluminous proportion.
I lie awake at night, looking at it from all angles and possibilities. And still, that mountain doesn’t shift.
However, here’s the thing I realised this morning, actually whilst I was out running. I remembered how I had fretted whether my body would ever move normally again.
We are moving that mountain.
We do it every day.
Just like we did eight years ago, with tiny twins solely relying on us for their survival, and four more children, who kind of got our left overs for a while.
We did it then and we are doing it now.
And I realised that we find strength and endurance in the deserts of fasting, not the deserts of feasting.
It’s called survival and before you know it, that mountain is so far ahead in the distance, it becomes blurry.
And you look at it’s form with a sort of thankfulness in your heart.
Because it’s not the mountain that is the stumbling block, it’s our perspective of it.
So, I choose to be happy for this moment, in this moment.
Because this moment is my life.