Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Sunday 10th August

I think that I was born with a ‘mountains are made to be climbed’ mentality, or something like that. This doesn’t mean that I have climbed every mountain I’ve seen, or even every mountain on the farm. It does mean, though, that I am not happy when we go to the farm if we don’t climb something – even if only the ‘Volcano’. I also don’t seem to be happy unless I have a particular project (or mountain) to work towards.

Perhaps, in its own way, that is what life sent me in the form of this cancer thing.

There is something about striving upwards against a steep incline (all our mountains seem to have that) and finding new routes to get to the top, where the view is magnificent, that appeals to something in me. Even if it is the same mountain (or hill) and the same view again and again, it is never quite the same.

Today we beat our own path (how we tend to ascend an obstacle) up to what we call the ‘pulpit’ below a sandstone cliff on the Guest Farm. It was really fun and felt quite intrepid! It also reinforced for me that I am actually not a wus (as I have felt through the chemo and much of this cancer thing), especially as I was scaling some vertical slope (don’t know if that gradient qualifies as a slope) on my way to the top.

Dani, Sarah and Michael all went their own ways and we met at the top – well, the girls came to find their mum and helped me up the last incline 🙂

It just made me think about life a bit – there are always those obstacles and figurative mountains that have to be negotiated. Sometimes they are individual and sometimes we face the same one/s. It is most likely that we will find our own way up and over, but there will always be that commonality of getting to the top. You may be like Mike and practically scale a sheer cliff, or like the girls and take a common path that then diverges. Or you may be like me and beat your own bath up the sheerness, only to receive a little helping hand at the very top.

However you get up the mountain and however long it takes, it is you that does it and you that enjoys the respite at the top – and the view.

There is, of course, then the descent to be made and, sometimes, another mountain to climb. Having done it once, it always seems so much easier to keep on doing.

Maybe we’re all born with a ‘mountains are made to be climbed’ mentality. We just need to face the ‘correct’ mountains to really be able to focus on what we are actually doing. Maybe, for some, the prospect of a particular mountain is just too vast and a way around it has to be found.

For me, up is always the way to go.

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