Tuesday, March 19, 2019

life experiences

I came across this quote a while back:

“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”

--Rene Daumal

I've been thinking so much lately about all the experiences we go through in life to give us those "summits" where we can gain new "sight."  

Whether they be education, a new job that is stretching, helping someone who is sick (I know that wouldn't generally be considered a "summit," but you can learn so much compassion from something like that, which gives so much more life experience to learn from and to navigate other parts of life with), parenting (gosh, that can sure bring you both the "summits" and the "descents" for sure!), pushing yourself to make a new friend, traveling, reaching out to those who might need your light, reaching for and trying to grasp and learn from the good examples of light surrounding each of us, making tough choices (those sure bring you to the "summit" in my opinion!).

Even reading a book that transports you to another time or place, something that helps you see life from a different perspective is a "summit" that can help us "see" better in my opinion.

I love when I discover myself at those "summits," the tough ones as well as the glowing ones, learning and growing, and can recall them when things aren't feeling quite so stretching ("one descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen").  And as a mother, especially of older children, I love seeing my children at their own summits, watching them learn and grow in ways only the world and others can provide for them.

And gradually learning the "art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up...when one can no longer see, one can at least still know."

I could go into so many tangible experiences where I've seen the beauty of this thought unfold, but for today I'll leave it right there with a challenge for us all to try to get to more "summits" in life...or maybe just recognize the ones we are in right now.  In my opinion, they are all around us, there for the taking.

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