Your Life is a Landscape

March 13, 2017

 

Right now

You’re in your life

Grounded

In the thick of it

Thinking about

Moving forward

You know where you need to go

But all you can see is each obstacle in front of you

Each tree, signpost, ditch, and building

And even when your field is clear in all directions

You still carry heavy baggage in your arms

On your shoulders

The weight of it can hold you in place.

 

Imagine instead

You’re looking out a window

A large landscape before you

Plains, ponds, mountains, rivers, and valleys

The sprawl of cities

You’re 7.5 miles up in the sky

What you see is your life

Look to your right

The limit is what you can remember

Look to your left

That’s your future

Everything between

Is everything you’ve ever done

Everything you’ve ever been

Everywhere you’ve ever gone

And everything that’s ever happened to you.

 

You see that marsh down there?

You remember how scared you were

To be stuck in that mud

To flail your arms and legs

To scream for help

To think it could be the end of your journey

But you’re not there

You’re 7.5 miles up in the sky

Remember?

You’re looking out a window

A large landscape before you

And that marsh is a tiny detail

You can see how you got in there

The steps you took to get out

Perhaps, most importantly

You can see all of the places you could’ve gone instead.

 

You see that mountain?

You remember how hard it was to climb

The pain in your legs

The ache in your back

Each labored breath

How good it felt to be on top

It was bittersweet even then

Knowing you had to come down

Was that mountain part of a range?

Or, was it a single feature on the landscape?

But, no matter what surrounds

Or, what is to come

You see that the peak you stood upon will always remain

A place to see

A place to remember

To remind you of that of which you are capable.

 

Still, worry fills you

Whenever you try to look ahead

Straining to get a better view through this window

You hit some turbulence

What dark clouds

What dangerous skies

You look down

Upon the landscape of your life

And realize that this is what it has been without

You see the effects of a drought

When the storm comes

Some trees and developments will be cleared

And new life will take root

After the rain falls.

 

You continue soaring

See the limits of the storm approaching

The silver lining

The edges of clouds

Remember that every time they hung over you

On the ground

They threatened to never pass

Saying,

“This is the way of the world now

Forevermore”

It reminds you of how

Sometimes, when you were enveloped in a fog

You worried that it might’ve claimed the world

That it had eaten up all the land and its features

You were on a floating island

In the middle of a silent and gray abyss

But it was all an illusion

Like the confusion that there was something more to all those clouds

Whether they were heavy and frightening

Or puffy and bright

Clouds are fog in the sky

Water in the air

Moisture and precipitation

And they, too, shall thin

They too, shall pass.

 

And what if there was no limit to this window?

That the steady march of this flight

Didn’t determine what you could see of your life?

That this wasn’t just a better view of what was to come

But that it was already there, all along?

That you could see it all?

The streets are paved

The paths are cleared

The footprints and track marks are already there

But, so is the sun

The moon

The darkness

And stars

The feeling of touch

The smells in the air

The river will carry

Though you know how deep

The current will take you

Though you know where it leads

The water is still wet

And you won’t be able to entirely repress your fear

The next time you come close to drowning.

 

You’re in your life

But you can see out of it

You can have perspective

Even when you’re grounded

Don’t focus on trying to see immediately forward

For your advantage

It would be like trying to map out a forest

While running into a tree

As you take in your life’s landscape

Remember that there is no limit to what is there

But, there are limits to where you will go

And what you can perceive.

 

You have traveled

You do travel

You will travel

And there are all of those places to travel to

The entirety of your life’s landscape is before you.

 

When you descend

Get off the plane

The baggage still remains

But you can set it down

Pull back the zippers and look inside

You carry with you that marsh, those clouds, that mountain

How amazing they should all fit into those packages!

You laugh at that

Pick your life up

And it all feels so much lighter

You keep moving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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