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The Climb

Being blessed as vertically challenged, or as I like to call it “a midget” has often brought with it a lot of struggles. Now I know there are a lot more people shorter then my total of 5′ 2″ height but throughout the years I have come to realize there are some things I just cannot do, like reach the top shelf.

One time I was cooking dinner for my family and realized I needed a spice out of the cupboard above the stove. I climbed onto the edge of the counter next to the stove and leaned across the burners to the cupboard to reach inside. The spice I wanted was not visible where I could have sworn I left it. So for a few moments I had to dig around inside until I found the exact one I needed. Finally! However, by the time I found my spice I was starting to smell something burning. I was only boiling water at that point, could water smell so terrible? Well, as I look down at my oversized shirt I was wearing that truly was maybe 2-3 times bigger then the size I should be wearing, I noticed something unfamiliar. There was definitely something burning, it was me and that wonderful big shirt. Apparently, I had leaned over the burner enough that my shirt had caught hold of the flame and now there was this beautiful color rising up my shirt very quickly, I was on fire. I screamed “fire”, my family ignored me. At some point I must have sounded in a panic because my children came running to see. I am still trying to decide if grounding should have been an essential element when the kids started rolling with laughter instead of trying desperately to save my burning life. Ah, good times.

That is not the only time in my life where I have found the need to climb. My life has been an endless journey of “I just cannot seem to reach this”. I have tried to get into a truck that was way too tall for my little legs to reach up to. I suggested a rope ladder, much to their amusement (they did not get the rope ladder). I have tried to get my foot up into a horse saddle, much to the amusement of the horse (can we quit spinning please while I am trying to not die?). My height has been a struggle when climbing trees, going on carnival rides, and some gym equipment. Much to my sadness, I just had to come to terms with the fact that there are some things I just cannot climb effortlessly. And apparently, watering this little flower is not going to make me grow anytime soon.

There are other things in life I have also struggled with to climb. There have been missed job opportunities where I could not climb the ladder like I truly wanted to, there have been hurdles blocking my path that I just could not climb over, and there has been darkness I just could not climb out of without some help. But above all, the hardest thing I have ever had to climb was a wall around someone’s heart.

When you find someone that you just have such a connection with (sometimes instantly, sometimes over a period of time) and you can just see your future with them, that wall becomes a huge obstacle. Some people are so scared to let anyone inside their compounds that they just keep adding brick after brick. The wall is hard enough to climb, but when you are vertically challenged, eventually you cannot even see over the top of the wall to see what is on the other side anymore. You can try to knock the bricks down but you run into the same scenario that the old woof did when the little pigs told him to go ahead and “huff and puff and blow our house down”. When you put walls around your heart, it becomes impossible for anyone else to call that place home. It makes you start to wonder, are they protecting themselves from others getting in, or are they protecting the ones on the outside from getting hurt from the danger that lives within the walls?

I have found that the people who guard their hearts the most, do it for reasons that maybe we just do not want to know the answers to. Maybe that wall is there for good reason and we should just knock on the door, and if that door is not answered, walk away because we are not meant to know what is on the other side of those walls. Some walls are not meant to be climbed. Maybe the next heart you find will have no wall whatsoever and you can walk in freely, no climbing needed, the door will be wide open waiting for you and inviting you in. I have found after many years of trying to climb over walls, I have become tired. As we get older we realize that there are some things we are just not meant to do anymore. Some things are just not worth the time and effort, not if you are going to be hurt in the process. I am now turning a corner in my life, no longer willing to climb brick walls, but looking for the open doors that are meant for me. Like Motel 6 says, I hope someone leaves the light on for me. And I hope they do for you also!

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Scrolling through my reader feed, I stumbled on this and somehow felt it might hit a chord
    (also the picture reminded me of an incident from my childhood when I climbed the kitchen cabinet in my aunt’s kitchen to explore dome interesting-looking containers… only to bring the whole lot down. She was surprisingly chilled about it, and I was miraculously unhurt).
    But it did catch a mood that has been swirling around me since I spent some time messing about in a wet hillside in the rain with a friend.
    It was massive fun, and something I have needed for so long.
    It was also key to unlocking a leap of faith I need to make.
    My friend is a man of faith and, when my less-than-adequate footwear was letting me down during an attempt to cross a rain-fuelled river on slippy stepping stones, I needed a big leap of faith at one point.
    He had the confidence I needed – and it was his faith that got me across. I realised later that it was the pivotal moment of the day.
    I’ve been amazed how I can surprise myself sometimes…
    and equally amazed how often other people allow me to do this by seeing what I can’t see in myself.
    But such moments do seem to be better at finding me than I am at finding them.
    (Sorry, ramble)


    May 22, 2021

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