The Base of the Mountain

I tilted my head to look at the time. 2:36am. Pain still surged through my back and wriggled down through my leg. In desperation I wanted to move to soothe the pain. Even for a second. Just for a second.

I tried to roll off the bed, and in one quick breath I made it to the floor. Stuck. The pain surged with vengeance as I held still on all fours. Breathing intently I attempted to move across the floor. As tears escaped down my defeated expression, I felt hopeless. Trapped in a body that screams when I seek silence, fights when I seek peace, and cries when I simply want to live in a world with no pain.

I can recall one person who genuinely asked me what it feels like to walk the earth every day with such pain that pulses through my veins. I remember looking down at my hands. The dull ache throbbed. How to describe a problem that is always there. That makes me hold mugs with two hands, for fear I won’t notice when I lose grip. The ache that forces me to ask complete strangers to open bottles for me, and friends to carry items that are standardly light. The same pain that kept me from talents I had hoped to achieve, and forced my voice to become louder as my hands no longer could write. How to explain.

Somedays it is like standing at the base of the mountain with the spirit to climb to the very top and shake hands with the sun. But my body cannot move. Stinging pain shoots through with any attempt. So I sit with aching hopelessness as I watch the sun rise just out of my sight at the base of the impossible mountain.

Other days it makes me angry. Cursing the sky that has the privilege to dance with the sun. In jealousy as I watch others move with ease up the mountain. My tear stained eyes simply observe and grieve. As days pass with the wind and rain, forcing me to shift my perspective of the mountain. As some fall by the weight of their own pride, I reconfigure my path to recovery.

They call it a disability. A lack. Something missing. It may be a limitation of physicality, but it can only manifest in perseverance. It sparks determination that exceeds any physical pain. Sometimes I am forced to stay still, but in moments of strength I press forward. Climbing just a little bit further each day. Until the day I can reach out my hand and welcome the sun to warm my aching bones. To lift my spirit in the promise of a new day. And speak with such gratitude for the struggle and the joy of simply being human.

The promise of the warmth of the sun is enough to cause me to crumble to my knees in faith when the incline seems too much. In genuine empathy towards those who were born with great spirits inside broken bodies, I press my feet into the earth for them. My climb is a collection of medical research, herbal remedies, caring doctors, a spirited family, and empathetic friends. People who never let me give up on myself. And to those I am grateful. With the spirit of those who walk with light radiating beyond their bones, I climb on. Until the day I rise to the warmth of no more pain.

Blessings,

Bethany

**Photo Cred: Julia H.**

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