Monday, April 9, 2012


A valley can be beautiful and green and full of life. A valley can also mean the opposite of a mountaintop when speaking about life experiences, contrasting euphoric successes with deeply challenging times. When we say, "it's all downhill from here," we can be speaking about ease of effort or we can be referring to deterioration. Context is key.

When we look at this image, we are on the high ground looking down. The picture alone speaks of life and beautiful abundance in crops and harvest. But what if we are coming up to a place in our personal lives where we know we will be meeting challenges? We might see this picture in a different light. What is our response in times of challenge? Do we turn around and avoid looking at what is to come? Do we stay on the hilltop, afraid to go down? Or maybe go down, slowly like entering an icy cold pool of water, little by little, unsure of whether or not to commit to full immersion.

I'd like to think that if the valley is a valley of challenge, that I would have the courage to journey on and through. I think I'd go slowly and sometimes I might turn around to look back, wondering if I made the right decision. Once through the valley, I might turn around and see that the very challenges I managed to face (and this would not be in my own strength!) did actually produce a harvest, a good harvest. And maybe the valley was green after all.

I took this picture in the rolling hills of Alberta, Canada. I don't often like to take pictures so centered but it seemed to work for this particular image. Before seeing it as completed, I brought it into photoshop to add a texture layer. Sometimes layers add. Sometimes they take away. Here, I think it added.