Every Saturday morning I take an urban hike around my neighborhood winding through side streets, past parks–still quiet and sleepy, around corners, over uneven sidewalks, through sprinklers casting rainbows on concrete, and up and over this giant hill.
Ugh, that hill.
It is my nemesis. Looming. Leering at me with it’s steepness. Challenging me to just try and overcome it without breaking a sweat; without heaving wheezing and gasping breaths; without wanting to give up and take the flat loop instead.
But I do it. I drag myself up and over that stupid hill if for no other reason than to prove to myself that I can…and to shut up the jeers and taunts I imagine coming from that haughty hill.
It is a perfect metaphor.
I cannot overcome it in one giant leap, or by sheer positive thought.
It is only by the most ancient and primitive of methods: simply placing one foot in front of the other. And continuing to do so all the way to the summit and down the other side.
It has a given name, this hill around the corner. But I think I shall call it Crucible Hill or Epiphany Way for it seems that each time I take it on, a little more refining happens; a little more insight rises up.
As I made my way up that hill the other day, imagining my soul pulling hand-over-hand toward that summit as if my very life depended upon it, I had this thought:
Being enough does not come from being polished, without blemish, or free from any impurity.
I am already enough.
I am enough because I have chosen to walk this path, to be in process, to ask questions, to seek truth, to fight for healing, to endure the dissonance, to look within myself, to face my fears, to wrestle my demons, to chose hope, to be genuine.
And then I wept.
Right there on the sidewalk in front of God and everybody. And I didn’t care what the neighbors, or the mailman, or the dog in that front yard thought of me.
I just had an epiphany!
One of those deep down from the utter core of my soul kind of epiphanies. One of those loose these chains, let freedom ring, I’m bursting with joy, kind of epiphanies.
I wept with love and compassion and admiration for myself.
And as I wept and walked I saw the flowers were my cheerleaders; I could almost hear them shouting and laughing and hooting for my victory. As their happy vibrant faces urged me on another step, I lost track of which was getting the more vigorous workout: my body or my soul.
I realized these cheerful companions were also my mentors. I saw them blooming with all their might without regard for wrought-iron gates that might keep them in, for they spilled out every opening available. They flourished without concern for concrete slabs that might want to crush them—they found what cracks and crevices out which to push and blossom. They let fly their sweet aroma opening to bees and hummingbird never giving a second thought to the competing stench of exhaust and smog.
What wise little wonders these flowers be! Though all may be dead and thorny ‘round them, still they bloom with vibrant, iridescent hues. And they do so because that is what they were made to do!
I turned my face toward the sun soaking up her warm golden light. I stretched out my arms to let the vastness of the sky expand my soul and my heart and my mind to drink in all this truth with thirsty, unashamed gulps. I breathed in deeply the aroma of healing filling my lungs to capacity.
Thank you stupid hill!
Thank you my little fairy-like flower friends!
Thank you Hope.
Thank you Courage.
Thank you Love.
Thank you Truth.