Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mountains Beyond Mountains

"Mountains Beyond Mountains" is a book I read in high school following the path of doctor Paul Farmer who moves to Haiti and begins to open clinics and provide relatively free healthcare to citizens of Haiti. Paul overcame significant hardships in his own life, became a doctor, became a Harvard professor, and became a figure dedicated to serving others who still had mountains to climb.

My summary of the book is not really fair, as I do not remember much of it. But I love the phrase mountains beyond mountains. I enjoy picturing the obstacles in our life today, and how they overwhelm us. But slowly, we climb them and face a new landscape, with new mountains and new obstacles. The mountains behind us grow smaller, just mere foothills. What were we worried about. We peaked and now it's time to keep trekking forward.

I also think of my own mountains versus your mountains. Comparatively, I may be looking at foothills. My landscape of problems may resemble the Texas hill country, while you are facing your own fourteener (mountains in Colorado with peaks above 14,000 ft), or maybe a very daunting Mt. McKinley (Denali) at 20,322 feet.

My mountains right now really aren't too big. I should be working on Spanish or my thesis proposal or unpacking boxes from moving out. I should try to discern if grad school is a viable option, or maybe just shoot for the dream of being a photographer. These "obstacles," they're all hills really. And today is just one of those moments where I have so many menial tasks I need to work on that I cannot really prioritize or focus or accomplish anything.

Overall, it's all relative. Small problems compared to larger problems, small worries compared to large, physical mountains.

Here are photos from my favorite leg of my Europe trip with my father. I enjoyed the town of Innsbruck and the Alps. I wanted to stay on the peaks forever. I did not want to descend. Everything was clear up there. The air, the clouds, the snow, the peaks, the people. Up there, I saw mountains beyond mountains, but no problems on the horizon.

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