As we continue with our ‘epic road trip’, we’ve been doing a lot of hiking.  In doing this hiking, I found that I prefer hikes that start as an uphill climb.  Why?  Because I know that upon my return, I will be walking downhill.  On the outgoing part of any hike, I celebrate hills.  I’ve even started almost running up them—and then stopping to catch my breath halfway up (I’m in terrible shape!)  I know that every step uphill will be a step downhill in the other direction. 

This is a terrible but accurate metaphor for life.  I’ve known people who’ve taken the easy path.  They’ve skipped downhill for years, only to find that shit—they don’t like where they are (or the path ended) and now they have to trudge back up the path, huffing and puffing all the way.  This is doubly difficult for them, as they are tired from the first part of the ‘hike’—even though it was downhill—and they never gained the strength to ascend.  Many of these same people are now much stronger for having gone through that—but I don’t know that I, personally, would have had the strength to make it up that first hill.  And some are still standing at the bottom, cursing. 

I’ve obviously come to that same ‘shit!’ conclusion—I didn’t like where I was and had to turn around.  But do you know what?  I’d been trudging uphill for the past thirteen years.  Going back down to the trailhead was fairly easy.  And though I’m standing here looking at multiple other uphill paths, I have the strength to climb, the wisdom to know that the climb will make me stronger still, and the faith that eventually, the path will level out. 

How’s that for one really extended—and pretty crappy—metaphor?  Just be happy that I don’t even attempt to write poetry!