Friday, May 25, 2007

Walking the mountain path

Allow me to explain this picture.
I took this picture on a mountain path at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina, where I was attending a Christian writer's conference this week. I met many publishers and other writers as I sought to find a publisher interested in my "Holy Humor" stories and some of my other writing.
One morning I decided to get some exercise by walking up Rattlesnake Trail. I got so tired that I had to slither back down the trail without reaching the summit.
The next morning I tried the Royal Gorge trail, which is not as long as Rattlesnake Trail. Again I huffed and puffed, but I decided I would not let anything blow me down the mountain. As I got more exhausted and time passed, I looked at my watch and realized that I would miss breakfast. But I was determined to see the view from the top, so I kept walking. Did I mention that Royal Gorge Trail, while not as long as Rattlesnake Trail, is nevertheless nearly a mile long? Most of it is much steeper than the path in this picture. I thought of the climb as a metaphor for my writing. I told myself, "I'm not going to quit! I'm going to reach the top!" Finally I got to the summit and walked to the overlook with my camera. I could see nothing but a few trees and a lot of mist. I laid down on a bench, gasping so rapidly that if anybody had been there, they would have called for an ambulance. Soon a car drove up the road, parked near the summit, and a car door opened. I didn't even know you could DRIVE up to the summit. Some lazy person got out of the car and walked toward the overlook where I was struggling for oxygen, so I sat up and tried to look spiritual as I gazed out at the haze. Then I started walking back down the mountain. Suddenly I noticed the things on the path that I had not seen in my quest for the summit. I noticed a tree that jutted straight out over the path, seeming to defy gravity by growing out more than up. There were colorful purple and pink flowers all along the way. So I took this picture.
Here was the metaphor for my writing. The beauty is not found in reaching the top; the beauty is found in the journey along the way.


Bloodiest of Ladies said...

That is beautiful.

Be glad you walked. There are some places that just aren't the same if you drive.

Reva said...

In my youth, I struggled to the top of Rattlesnake Mountain in the dark hours of the morning while protecting a very nice 35 mm camera. I don't remember ever doing anything so physically demanding in my entire life. I pulled myself up almost straight up the mountain in some places. (Well, ok, a nice young man did help me some.) Not being a person who relished either great physical activity or early morning hours, my purpose was to get to the top one time only to see and PHOTOGRAPH the sun rise.

I did see the sunrise, but would you believe that after the climb of my life, I found out that I had no film in the camera!

There are lessons in that life experience, and I hope I've learned most of them by now.

Brother Bob said...

How true. I'm glad I didn't drive.
Sounds like you learned the lesson sooner than I!

Tanya said...

What a beautiful photo! And a perfect metaphor. Silly me, I was so busy taking classes, I never got up the hill. I also didn't take any pictures all week. Next time. :)