Reaching The Summit

Entry by: Godai41

24th April 2015
Reaching the Summit

Seemingly a familiar, ancient, even venerated venue, the summit still eludes its followers and its disdainers alike. Reaching the summit doesn’t come easy.

Can anyone literally reach it, arrive at it?

In fact, it may prove difficult to even recognize a summit even when one has climbed it.

Think of some of the words related to or perhaps even synonymous with summit: apotheosis, zenith, for example.

The word itself, said to mean “top part,” emanates from somete in Old French and even earlier from Latin, summum, the neuter form of summus, highest.

Words associated with it include absolute, capital, chief, head, highest, most important paramount, superlative, and utmost.

A summit, not necessarily only a physical summit, resists, thwarts, yes, perhaps, defies recognition viewed from its base and even if one reaches its top.

What is a summit? What is the top and bottom of a summit? Where are we anyway in this existence?

Summit in life, not a physical summit, may prove difficult to recognize, what a summit is, when one is at the bottom of it, and when, if ever, one reaches the top.

How difficult it is to recognize what is a summit and what is a bottom: where are we anyway?

A summit need not and does not always mean a physical entity, most often pertaining to a mountain.

It may, rather, become an action, a period of time, even a feeling, or a sense of oneself.

Summits in one’s life may signify goals one has achieved, confidence or assurance one may feel, or most often, accomplishments that one has sought to complete having been completed.

Remember the moment one graduated from college. Many feel they have completed a difficult ascent, perhaps initiated as early as grade school. The college summit includes a sense of deeply knowing some area of life or study of a field. A sense that one filled with this knowledge acquired over some years may take on a position that can contribute to and even advance this world appears on the summit. The arduous almost literal uphill climb over an extended period of time becomes palpable. One exudes and people notice one exudes some seasoning associated with the ascent.

Marriage too summits one up the peak of life. A readiness to become a full partner, share caring with and for another, goes with the territory. One now has the capacity to promise, to vow togetherness, faithfulness, even in the face of the unknown landscape and not-yet-experienced side of the summit atop. Storms, falling boulders, impassable paths, and much more threaten but the climbers move on whether or not they have all the equipment rising to the top of the summer clamors that they have.

And what of the parenting side of the summit? Here the light, jovial, optimistic first ascents of the summit morph into panting, aching, even terrifying jolts. The summit itself shuns its once seemingly certain identity and presents slippery, cutting, elusive, and even totally empty spaces to those ascending. The now unknown air itself thrusts at the climbers’ vulnerable parts, head, chest, legs, all parts, the possibility of injury and even loss. Even veteran climbers from all life’s means of paying dues, lawyers, construction workers, doctors, ministers, rabbis, gurus, swamis, and perhaps even venerables shudder as they struggle to inhale and exhale through the joys and challenges of the newly coined ascenders: first steps, first words, feeding them, protecting them from the elements of the climb, falls, and, yes, finding new trails to follow.

Summits, even these non-physical summits, exude thinness of air and betimes a rarified terrain. Those passing through tred lightly and find themselves trembling.

Summits meet the inhabitants on the dwellers’ own once seemingly secure territory.

Alert to the summits that surround all earthlings much of their lifetimes, the earthlings come to know that they can and will come to find that summits do not restrict themselves to high or treacherous endroits. They grasp, sooner or later, that they do not need to ascend or idolize high, inaccessible places to know summits.

They may even find solace in a mother’s ancient words when she found someone causing a racket or a commotion in her kitchen or someone received a physical or emotional hurt and she soothed the raucous action with the words “Don’t make a big tsimmis.”

To sum it up, it’s only a summit showing one of its many countenances, not only high high above but on level ground right in front of our faces.

Do remember, though, no human elevators, no mechanical ascending contrivances, ever truly reach the summit.