The mountains taught me a lesson this morning. A lesson that I’ve learnt before, and will learn again. And again and again.
Of course the mountains have something to teach us everyday, but that’s not the point!
This morning I wanted to train on my skis. To skin up a route I have come to know so well over these past weeks. I know how long it will take, I know where to push, where to ease up. I know what I will see when I reach a certain rise. I know each turn, curve, undulation. I know how it will feel with almost every glide of my skis beneath me. I know how the river will fall away to my side. I know just when I will start to feel I have ‘reached the sky’ as I come level with the summits around me.
But, today the mountains had another idea. Snowfalls over the last few days meant after a beautiful dawn it was time to start shooting down the avalanches. So, I was stopped in my tracks.
I had to take a new route. Into the unknown. A way I hadn’t skinned before. The way was gentler in places, it took longer to gain height.
It gave me a different view and a new perspective.
And on that long skin up towards the sky I realised what I was being reminded of.
The world is as it is, and we are as we are. It will snow when it snows. The wind will blow when it blows. The sun will shine when it shines. We cannot make things as we want them to be, need them to be, or wish them to be. They are as they are.
But that is the magic of life?
We have to learn to flow. To flow with the ups and the downs, around the twists and turns, into the corners, into the wide open, to turn ourselves inside out and stand on our head if need be.
I’m not saying never fight for the truth of what you believe. Just that sometimes the truth isn’t what we wish it was.
We cannot bend, shape, fold the world into how we wish things were. Instead we have to bend, shape, fold ourselves to follow the course that life throws before us; when things feel harsh or difficult, as well as when they are gentle and easy. Being grateful for what is there, for what we have in that moment, rather than wishing for more, lest what we have in that moment is taken from us.
One of the truths in life is that nothing is permanent; life is a constant ebb and flow. Go with it. Fight for what you believe to be true; but don’t let your will, your wish, your want, delude you. Things are as they are, and it is ok.
” ….. when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.” — Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
Umberto Pellizzari the freediving world record holder recalls his pivotal point given by a Maldivian:” look at the coconut in the water: imagine being the milk not the nut shell” Namastè. Tite , http://Www.yogaxrunners.com
I’m reminded of a tale told by an ex metropolitan police chief who was stood with the SAS commander on top of that embassy back in the 1980s when they were about to abseil down to tackle the terrorists, apparently it was very windy and the sun so bright in their eyes that they couldn’t see, the police guy was complaining that the conditions were too dangerous to risk the abseils at which point the SAS leader turned to him and said “Sir, the weather is …” and promptly ordered his men into action.
It has stayed with me since I heard it some 15 years ago and remind myself of it on many a mountain top – the weather is what it is, it won’t bend to suit your needs, so just deal with whatever you’re faced with as effectively as you can, and in my case that also sometime involves retreat!
I read your post from the East of Belgium at an altitude of 500 m. Today it’s snowing again : roads will be tricky and I felt blocked at home. But watching the snow slowly, with something I called a little bit of serenity and then reading your post makes me feel incredibly serene today : no more feeling of being blocked, just watching life going on.
Thank you Lizzy for your inspiring blogs.
Malmedy – Belgium
A beautiful meditation.