Mountain Passes

Friday, August 01, 2008

I’m sitting in the backseat of the car. We drive through the San Joaquin valley en-route to Oxnard, California to sail with the good Captain. It’s 102 degrees outside and Dawn tells me a story about driving through this valley with her dad (the good and brilliant Captain) when she was a little girl. As you come to the end of this valley the circle of mountains looms larger until it seems to be closing in on every side. She says she remembers all of a sudden looking at them and being frightened. “Dad! Look, the mountains, what will we do?” They present a barrier that her 7 year old mind couldn’t see past…how would they pass the mountains and escape the arid valley? This led to a long discussion, she remembers about building roads through passes and, “how do they do that?” and “where do they get the rocks to make the road.” The Captain is an engineer. I’m sure the ensuing discussion was fascinating!
It made me think of myself…ourselves. I surely can’t see past the mountains in my life and how often they close in, frightening and suffocating me with their immensity. But I got to thinking. I crossed so many mountain passes as a child and never thought twice about the impossibility of such a feat, because in Oregon, you are in and over the mountain passes without ever seeing them. You just drive and the road takes you through. Someone else did the hard work to put it there, I wasn’t around for that part. I just follow it. Here in this treeless desert you can see what you have to mount and cross over, and the “turn off Air Conditioner” sign at the bottom of the hill seems daunting. Some obstacles in my life I never see coming until they are past. I suppose those are a Grace. Others I see looming ahead and grow fearful. But there is a pass. There’s always a pass. All you do is follow the road laid out and the pass presents itself as you go forward. It might be steep, but it’s never impossible, impassable. It’s a pass. It makes my mountains seem smaller and gives me hope.
I liked Dawn’s story.


Steve said...

Great analogy my love.

Don't give up hope for the passes thru the hard stuff.