Mountains of Transition

I’m on a balcony in South Carolina looking across at a lake and then mountains. There are mountains, and then more mountains, and beyond that, there are even more mountains.

My view is stunning and soul-quieting; soul-quieting during a time where my soul deeply needs rest and my heart is beginning to feel the deep loneliness of transition. I feel it most when I wake up. A feeling of disorientation surrounds me and I am lost. It’s as though something or someone has died. I lie quiet for a moment, breathing through the panic. And then, it’s gone. I sigh and hold out my hands, the Jesus Prayer on my lips.

A Haitian proverb says “Deye mon, gen mon” – “beyond mountains, there are mountains.” This afternoon, as I quiet my soul and look out towards the horizon, I realize that transition is like this. One mountain after another to be climbed and conquered, or at least climbed. Mountains of change and mountains of moving; mountains of decisions; mountains of goodbyes and ‘see you laters’; mountains of letting go of what I hold so tightly and don’t even realize. Mountains of explaining and re-explaining; of prayers and laying all at the mercy of God.

And that mountain of loneliness? For me, this is the biggest mountain of all. There are both universal and uniquely individual components to this loneliness. I am humbled as I recognize those attributes. I realize that many in our world understand these feelings, yet they are still deeply personal, still difficult to articulate.

In a recent piece on “Going Home“, Tanya Crossman ends with these words:

Right now the best I can manage most days is just getting by. Take small steps toward building a life here. Celebrate tiny achievements. Look for little moments that encourage me, that tell me it’s going to work out and one day I’m going to find my feet here, in this new life. Transition is hard. It’s exhausting. But it’s also worth it.”

Small steps.

Tiny achievements.

Little moments.

It’s going to work out.

Yes, beyond the mountains are more mountains. Taken all together, the view is beautiful, but the steps are overwhelming. But taken one by one, reaching out to others in the journey, I just might make it.

What about you?

5 thoughts on “Mountains of Transition

  1. I know the feelings of loneliness and “lostness” (not a real word but what can I say? saudade? anoranza? In teen lingo, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out, or fear of missing out on meaningful times with loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and/or strangers who really care) of 5 am wakings. I am finding it is a common human experience. Perhaps it is meant to be. One gentleman I know said he finally decided that is so he can hear from the Divine, when everything else is subdued.

    I think you are great at expressing the “mountains of loneliness”. One daughter once described a landscape photographer’s work as “empty loneliness” or something like that. I think “mountains of loneliness” hits the nail on the head and is a picture that will help us get through it. I feel something similar with our first-born off to college for her first step in transition to …Feels like someone took all the salt, sugar, and spice from our house. Still have some rainbows, but a lot less conversation. We will overcome. Slowly.


    1. LOL my first paragraph was referring to those early morning wakings (about the common human experience)…. sorry if it was not well written and unclear.


  2. Been back in the USA three weeks and taking things slowly. I have a lot to do and I don’t want to get overwhelmed though I’ve already had a few moments of feeling that it’s too much to handle.


  3. I love this. I love the image of layers of mountains. That’s a view I know from one of my hometowns (Canberra), layers of Brindabellas stretching toward the snowfields. What a perfect illustration of transition. Blessings on you as you scale the mountains before you!

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