• Joaynna Cook

Peaks, Valleys and Plains.

Sometimes I think of life as a long trek across a vast number of landscapes. Each season of life is a different environment. It has different terrain, views, and wildlife. Each landscape presents its own challenges along the way.

On this trek, you have no map. To find your way you must trust your intuition and learn the ways of the land as you go. Some trails might take longer than others, some look similar to places you have traveled before. There is no going back, this path is not a loop. You can only stop or keep moving forward.

In the last 9 months, I have been walking through the mountains. Either I was climbing to a peak or diving into a valley. There were steep and fast inclines and slow and steady declines. I have seen incredible views from the top and been humbled by the deep valleys of life. The mountain ranges of life are truthful. They lay everything out in front of you, they show you how difficult they will be to climb but how beautiful it will be along the way. I like the mountains. They have always felt like home. They show you every inch of what they have to offer. They show you how high and how low you can get all at once.

I am now making my final descent of that range and I am seeing my terrain level out. There is a vast, blank, and endless plain that lies in front of me. After, the ups and downs I sigh in relief that I now can begin to recover. My legs can feel heavy and walk in a steady rhythm. For the first time, I have been excited about this walk. In previous seasons, the plains have felt like a waste of my strength and abilities. "I can climb mountains! Why am I here? I can do so much more?" Now, I know that the plains scare me more than mountains ever will.

The plains go on forever, they show no end, they don't show you what they have until you are up close and personal. There are no peaks and valleys in sight. You have to pace yourself to make it through. At times, the wind pushes against my back, helping me along. The next moment it slaps my face, forcing me to put my head down and push through. The plains don't look like they change much, but as you continue to walk along you feel yourself rolling with the hills again. You see the little high points and the tiny dips in the land. They are subtle but they are there.

I am walking into a season of steady unknown. The path has only flattened out, it has not gone away. I still have steps to take. There is no need to seek the peak or the valley. There is no need to seek the good or the bad. It can just be. It can be flat and seemingly uninteresting. It can feel endless.

Have faith in the path, regardless if it looks like a mountain or it looks like plains. Have the patience to keep stepping even when it doesn't look like much is ahead.

Let life be steady, endless, and unknown. Be so present, that you can see the beauty in what is up close.

Eventually, your landscape will change again. You will keep trekking on. You will always learn the way of the earth beneath you.

How are you (really)? What does your life's landscape look like right now?


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