March 29, 2011

I live at the base of a mountain.  Not just any mountain either.  This is a glorious, grand, majestic, dramatic mountain. It is perfectly framed in my living room windows.  You can’t miss it.  It is a show stopper. Their first time here, people often say, “It’s almost as if you planned the house so that the mountain would sit dead-center in those windows.”  The fact is, we did.  Of course we planned it that way.  We wanted the killer view, the picture perfect view.  The kind of view that you only see in magazines.

But you see, the thing is, while some days she is out in all of her glory, other days, often days on end, she is shrouded in clouds and fog.  Other days, the only thing visible is the very top, or the sloping base.  There are days when the clouds come and go, and of course therefore, so does the mountain.  The truth of the matter is that whether we can see the mountain or not, it is always, Always, ALWAYS there.

I think there is a deeper, more subtle reason that we look out at this breathtaking peak.  It serves as a reminder, and as a great teacher of things far more important and moving than a great view.

So just what are those things?  Faith!  Purpose!


I believe in God.  I can’t explain exactly what that means, or exactly how he or she operates in the world.  I just know that there is something far bigger than me, than humanity, than this planet at work in the world.  I find life too full of miracles, creativity, joy, pain, devastation and mystery to be able to be explained away with  reason, a big bang and eons of interactions between energy and matter.  Somehow, I believe that God is involved with us and with our world, and we are meant to be the human face, hands, heart, mind and soul of our Creator.  However, there are many days that I forget that bigger picture and get caught up in my little life.  On those days, I find it hard to put one foot in front of the other for myself, much less even think about how I might serve a greater good to the world that is within my grasp.  And so, my mountain serves to remind me of that greater presence.  When I look out and the sun is shining on the brilliant, snow covered peak, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that that something bigger is here, there and everywhere.  But on those days when all I can see is dark, grey clouds, I have the chance to practice living with faith, by reminding myself that just because my life is socked in, that sacred presence is there just the same.


Each one of us adds to the world what no one else can.  Which means, we all have a purpose and a calling, and in the finding and in the following, our gifts can bring good to the world.  When my daughters were small, my purpose was clear. Those were days of clear blue skies and not a cloud in sight. My purpose… to love, nurture, guide and protect.  Everyday, not always perfectly, but always with intention, a huge part of my purpose was to help those precious girls grow up and become strong, wise women in their own rights.  As they grew and changed, so did my purpose.  And to be honest, the skies were less clear, and more often than not, the clouds rolled in, and it was hard to see very far down the road. My role too, became cloudy.  It seemed to be one of being available, but not intrusive, offering counsel but not direction, and opening my ears, and shutting my mouth.  Frankly, sometimes I did this with spectacular success, and other times I failed miserably.  Now I am at a new place.  My daughters are grown and living their lives, managing their choices and navigating their successes and failures on their own.  Not that we aren’t still connected.  We are, and I am grateful.  But is isn’t what it was, and it won’t ever be that again.  I know that.  I appreciate that.  I respect that.  In the midst of it all, I also have good work, meaningful work.  All that said, there are days that I totally and completely lose sight of my purpose.  Somehow it was so much easier to know what that was when that meant making sure that my daughters were safely strapped into their car seats, and we ended every night under the covers with a book.

These days, what often reconnects me to my purpose is the mountain.  It looms large out my window, whether I can see it or not. So does my purpose, and so does yours and yours and yours.  If my experience with the mountain offers any lessons in the matter it is this, even when you can’t see it, it is there.  My hero, Annie Lamott claims that we are all here in Earth School.  Perhaps our greatest lesson is to find our purpose.  To find the work and contribution that is ours, and ours alone to give.  And then, to offer that to the world with all of our might, and all of our mind, and all of our soul.

The mountain out my window helps me keep that in mind.

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: From whence shall my help come?”

~Psalm 121

“Climb every mountain….” Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music

written by Molly Davis

8 Responses to “NOW YOU SEE IT… NOW YOU DON’T”

  1. love the image you created…I have watched that mountain come and go in the fog, the brilliant morning light, the moonlight. It is dependable and sure, no matter what… like a best friend…like you…

  2. Lisa Kaser Says:

    Enjoyed reading this Molly. An important reminder of appreciating the tangible and intangible elements in our lives. Very nice.

  3. rebecca Says:

    Molly-I appreciate your perspective on those things unseen. I would like to think I am a person of faith, but more often than not it all but disappears. Then when I find a moment to catch my breath I realize it was always there. It didn’t go any where, I was the one who lost my way. Nice thing about a constant in your life. It allows for your frailties and stays true despite your human-ness.

  4. Beautifully said Molly. I guess we all have our “mountain” – it’s whether we choose to see it, accept it, understand it and love it.

  5. Madge Woods Says:

    Loved the photo and the imagery. Purpose for me comes and goes and changes all the time. That’s what keeps my life so much fun and lively.

  6. Anna Powell Says:

    I loved this, Molly.
    The mountain as a metaphor is such a relate-able one for me. I’m about to step off that cliff where a shift in responsibilities/priorities are in order, and this writing is a reminder of how to deal positively with transition. Thank you…

  7. Kristine, I do believe we all have ‘something’ that is our beacon. For me it is the ocean. The ocean yields beautiful swells that meet the skyline in the vast horizon but then mother nature can turn any swell into horrific loss. There is a greater entity out there that is my belief. This is our evolution.
    My motto from teaching was ‘everyday is a learning experience’ some better than others and that each child who walked thru my door was unique and offered something different to the class. I use this in my daily life. My friends are from all walks of life always have been and still are today. To accept what each day brought and deal with it was my Gram’s motto and I learned so much from her. We all have foggy days, or moments of hurricane torment and loss. But we believe and we move on. I loved this blog. I love your view on life and thank you so for sharing your vision.

  8. Cynthia Says:

    Indeed Molly – well written.

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