A few weeks ago, my husband and I went exploring the farm property I purchased a year ago to celebrate my 50th birthday. It is a combination of marsh, field and forest situated on a sunny mountain slope overlooking the bay and the eastern boundary is a small creek at the bottom of a gorge. We’d heard there was a waterfall upstream, so set out to find it. I welcomed the opportunity to familiarize myself with the lay of ‘my land’…the slopes and crevasses, the hardwood ridges and gullies.
We followed an overgrown logging trail that paralleled the waterway for some time, but the sides of the creek grew steadily steeper and eventually, we clambered down a slope to follow the stream bed. Mossy walls rose high above our heads seeping rivulets of water, and we climbed through the unfamiliar shadows, burrowing deeper into the mountainside. We crawled over fallen trees clogging the flow and gingerly crept around a cave, wondering if its dark interior had been claimed yet for the winter.
Looking for that small stream’s source, I felt I was entering the heart of the mountain. It was hard going in places, and at times, I fought apprehension, thinking if one of us fell or injured ourselves in this isolated spot, it would be no easy task to bring help.
I have been making the same journey inside myself this past year. The quiet hour I have set aside each day is my time to burrow into the very heart of my values and beliefs and to reflect upon how I exhibit these (or fail to) within my day to day actions. There are times that this becomes very uncomfortable, as I clamber through my hills and gullies, my victories and failures.
I’ve peeled back the layers and habits and roles I have crafted for myself through the years, examining each one, peering into the darkness, looking at its underbelly, seeking what lies beneath. Some, I have cleared out; they are no longer useful. But with each one that I peel back, I am getting closer to the source…the place where the truth of my life springs forth, fresh and unrestrained. And I feel that I am beginning to become what I believe.
I think it would be easy to live out there on the sunny slope without ever entering the mountain. But I would always wonder what lay back there…beyond my knowledge. It would also be easy to venture in a ways, then say ‘been there, done that’ and never go back.
But I think this cool, dark place should be explored in all seasons. And I trust that each time I go deep, I will discover something new. And eventually, instead of me entering the mountain, it will enter me.
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.” John 7:38
This Monday, gratitude flows for:
271. Mountains of truth: their steady strength, reliability, permanence.
272. Clear, snow-clad mornings.
273. Trees to catch the snow, shadow and light.
274. Ice cold drinking water, straight from the well.
275. Callie-dog…showing signs of improvement.
276. The beautiful ladies I met in book club gatherings this week…their heart, their insights, their thoughtful questions.
277. Flannel pyjamas and fuzzy slippers.
278. One luxurious, decadent morning of blissfully sleeping in.
279. The cinnamon smell of warm sticky buns.
280. Brisk walks with friends.