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.

4 comments:

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...

Trudy,
How true. I'm glad I didn't drive.
Reva,
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. :)