40 Weeks, 4 days: Mountain Climbing
by Sharon Tjaden-Glass
I think we’re close.
It feels like we’ve been climbing together for so long.
At first, it was a gradual slope, one that I could walk without much of a problem (although–who am I kidding–the nausea was tough). I brought provisions along for the both of us. Assurances that we would make it through this journey together, whole.
But that slope became a hill. My heart picked up speed, so did yours. The further we climbed, the more of my supplies I left behind. I held on to things that I thought you might need. Because I knew you were fragile, so tiny and dependent. I knew I was tough and I could go without.
But now that hill is a mountain, so steep and imperceptibly tall in front of us. When does it end? I’ve let go of even more, hoping it will make us just a little lighter. My hands can’t find any holds in the rock. I feel like I’m climbing blind, hoping that my fingers will feel what my eyes cannot.
But now, our companions will stay behind as we go forward. They will cheer for us from a safe distance, while we trudge on.
What comes next is the hardest part.
Now that the oxygen is thin,
Now that we’re at our heaviest,
Now that we’ve given up all that we can,
I will have to reach down and pull out that last bit of strength and will
For the both of us
Because you are depending on me
I will lower my head, reach my hands up into the darkness, and feel for the ledge
I will pull, pull, pull
Even though my body tells me that it will break
And my mind tells me that I will fall
My spirit will say, Yes.
Open your eyes.