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The Second Mountain

By Shirley Hartnett

So, imagine this incredible journey I've been on—scaling this rugged mountain of sorrow and heartache.

Taking care of my son, who needed constant attention and care, felt like this monumental climb, leaving me breathless and my legs sore. It was like a daily grind that pushed me beyond what I thought was possible.

And let me tell you about the constant looking back—a backpack full of memories, tugging at me with every step forward. The summit always felt just out of reach, a constant reminder of the challenges I faced.

When I finally reached the top, the funeral, I hugged the ground in relief. I made it. I didn't have a plan for climbing down the mountain.

The valley below struck me. This valley wasn't just a geographical place; it was a sacred space of sacrifices and rebirth. It was about leaving behind the old, shedding layers of the past, and gearing up for something new—a place where rebuilding wasn't about being a caregiver anymore but about rediscovering my new purpose.

Walking through the valley I came upon a new mountain. A rock-face mountain. This mountain required new equipment, and new strategies. Each toe-hold had to be planned and placed. The climb became a personal conversation with God. Every huff and puff turned into a prayer for strength, and the soreness in my legs felt like a connection to the earth—the very ground where I was rediscovering myself.

At the summit of that rock face, I again hugged the ground. I looked over each side debating where to climb down. I had to make a profound decision. Paragliding down wasn't just a descent; it was a commitment, a declaration to embrace the unknown, and an acknowledgment of divine guidance.

And when I leapt, it was like surrendering to the divine winds of change. Soaring above the peaks and valleys, the struggle turned into this incredible spiritual journey.

The decision to paraglide down became a metaphor for trust, faith, and the courage to embrace God's plan.

Looking back became a sacred blessing, a reflective journey appreciating the sacrifices made.

Those mountains, once daunting, now stand as a testament to God's grace and my own resilience. Each step, guided by divine wisdom, is a celebration of personal freedom and joy. It's like I climbed, stumbled, and soared my way through, with the mountains bearing witness to the story written by the hand of God.

And that paraglide? It was my way of saying, "I trust in your plan, O Lord, lead me to what comes next."

Author's note: I climbed the two mountains and paraglided down. A 3000 foot mountain with no winds takes about 45 minutes to reach the ground. Mine took 2.5 hours. I needed a lot of time with God.

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