So a month ago my husband and I found ourselves in New Zealand. To call it a beautiful place is putting it mildly for rather it’s massive, rugged and has an untamed value that’s reflective to that of our home, Montana. It was more than our own back yard so it gave an awe inspiring jolt with just about every corner we turned.
Tonight I’m thinking of one particular day when we were on the South Island in the Mount Cook region where the mountains that rose around us were as massive as the sky. You’d be standing in rain-forest where the sand flies were attempting to eat you alive while hearing parcels of glacier fall off and tear thunder throughout the lonely high places. It was a place that made you feel the wilder side of your soul within you.
No, we didn’t climb Mount Cook itself but rather we climbed a smaller neighbor not far from it where you could set your eye on that beasty hill as much as you desired when you paused to catch some breath. I’ll admit my lack of character revealed itself when our idea of a “short hike” was indeed a short distance of trek being no more than two miles however, it was 4000 vertical feet of difference between the bottom and our goal. I was a little late to that morsel of information until I could see that the ladder like trail wasn’t a mere tough section of the path but rather the majority of the story. Being a creature of average shape I was well aware of how my lack of working out prior to our trip was ungracefully revealing itself during the climb as my legs burned and I gulped air like I was drowning.
It’s funny to see it now but the miserable fun is the best kind. When you are struggling mightily and yet have a goal you gotta reach, that’s the time you have a good story to remember when it’s over.
There was a point when you could feel yourself high above most other things. We came to a ledge where all around you there was mountainside, persistent glaciers, and Mount Cook. As we stood there and rested our eyes, I felt like I discovered a region of my being I had never touched before. I think we all have felt this feeling in our special ways, for in each of us there’s a soul that is no other than ours so please don’t feel like you have to count yourself out of this conversation if you haven’t looked upon Mount Cook yet (but I so hope you do someday). There was something that was awakened by my eyes resting on new places that will never change though I might never see them again. As we let ourselves find new landscapes in which we feel alive, maybe those very places are the reflections of the epic souls within us.
I know this is way out there but my prayer is that I never neglect my soul to remaining undiscovered. I hope that even in my own backyard, that I find my ways to let my soul be stirred whether it’s looking upon the massive reality of the wilderness around me, or from letting myself be known in a conversation with those I love the most. I hope you know that you have something within you that is deeper than your worries, your responsibilities, your discontent and the lonely echo of what you haven’t touched. Know that you have a landscape that is waiting to be discovered that no counterfeit of entertainment can touch.
We have an compelling need to understand the depth of our own souls. That might be a concept that’s way out in the weeds of our daily lives in which we have all the push and pull of the demands of careers, bills and often the mundane. But I think we feel a need, a vague hunger for knowing creation, ourselves and looking into and connecting with the depth that runs deep within us all. It’s the reason that our desire for love, adventure and connection is ever restless and maybe unsatisfied.
What if we let ourselves feel the discomfort of new things so that we can better follow the paths into the wilder sights of what is in all of us?