Thursday, August 20, 2009

Photostory Friday: The Peak

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek




Sometimes we tend to think of life as a series of high points and low points. The truth is, the vast majority of life is lived somewhere on the road, between those peaks and valleys, and if you don't learn to find contentment on that path -- in everyday life -- then you're in for a long and miserable life.




I have a good life. I don't love every aspect of it, but in the areas that really matter, I am happy.

About seven months ago, I was in the darkest valley of my life. My wife had been diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer, and I felt completely hopeless and helpless. I WAS helpless, there was nothing I could do. Even going back and reading my posts from that time brings those feelings back to the surface.

So much has happened since then. Sharon is cancer free, she is healthier than she has been, almost since I've known her. That dark valley seems like a lifetime ago.




This past Tuesday night -- Sharon's birthday, incidentally -- I reached a peak.

I didn't graduate from college, or get a book published, or win some photography ribbon. I just stood on the shore of a small lake, and watched the sun go down.




It was one of those sunsets that gets better every minute. Every new phase was more beautiful than the one before. In fact, the most stunning colors came after the sun was long gone. It was hypnotizing and breathtaking and overwhelming. There were times that I couldn't tell where the water ended and the sky began. It lasted forever. The moment lingered, as though my desire alone held it bound.



The thing about a peak is, that as long as you continue moving upward, all the roads you travel will lead you to that place. And, when you arrive, you think about all that led you to that point, and as I stood on that shore, watching God paint the far western horizon, I thought of all that was good in my life -- my wife, my children, my family and friends -- all that lifts me up, and I was filled with a sublime peace and a quiet joy. The beauty of the moment surrounded me and penetrated to the core.


The sun set, and the night came on, and the path of life stretched in front of me once again.




But the memory of my moment at the peak is still glowing.


25 comments:

Cecily R said...

Beautiful pictures. Beautiful sunset. Beautiful words.

A peak.

Cecily R said...

Oh, and.

My word verification for that comment was SQUIP. I think we need to make up a definition for that word and start using it. We can start a new trend.

Ryanne said...

That looks like it was a very mesmerizing sunset. You are right, we have to be happy with the journey, we learn from every experience we go through! Great post Chris.

Robyn said...

Beautiful sunset! I can see why it was a peak. Sometimes it is those little moments that puts joy in ones heart.

Chris said...

You know Cec,

I think SQUIP is like "SMURF" -- you can use it for anything...SQUIP-tastic! SQUIPeriffic! SQUIPacalifragilisticexpialidocious! SQUIP off!

scrappysue said...

ugh - spectacular. just wonderful. happy birthday to sharon and her cancer-free days ahead

Corey~living and loving said...

now THAT is a post right there. :)

awesome sentiment...and fabulous pics. rock on!

kaye said...

*smiling* (no words)

Carissa(GoodnCrazy) said...

OH MY GOSH I'm stumbling this post. And ALL the photos.. I totally agree.. the pictures get better and better.. we've had some awesome sunsets around here too.. but those!! WOWZER!

n. said...

I'm glad someone stumbled this post :)

It was really good to hear and puts things into perspective. Thanks for reminding me of what's important and making my evening beautiful.

Raise Them Up said...

Wow!That was so beautiful! The pictures and the post. Great job!

Emily said...

How is it that you seem to be so good at identifying and confronting emotions while also looking at them objectively?
I have a hard time coming to grips with the in between areas...maybe I'm a little extreme? But you're right...that's where we are most of the time.
So glad to hear your wife is cancer free...I know you'll be happy to stay on that peak!

AVT Coach said...

I did not know about your wife and I am so happy for you that she is doing well. Your abundant thinking was an inspiration for her I am sure. Your faith can not help but get you through and I love looking at the world through your lens. These are beautiful photos and reflect a life being well lived!

Lisa said...

Amazing, stunning, moving, lovely. On so many levels!

Krystyn said...

How do you do that? Goosebumps every time!

So glad your wife is doing so well.

kris... said...

This was a beautiful post!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

profound
beautiful

Steph said...

Wow. Sometimes that's all that can be said.

Susan said...

Wow, thanks for letting me enjoy a little piece of that moment too!
I love it when God's creations move me to my core and make me thankful for all the blessings in my life.

ValleyGirl said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome. The pictures are breath-taking and your thoughts are so true. Great post, Chris. I'm never disappointed when I visit here.

Wayne said...

That last picture has to be one of the most magnificent sunset pictues I have ever seen.

great photo friday

Heidi said...

Your post was very touching. I too have been in one of those dark valleys. It has taken me a long time to find to my peak. Thank you so much for sharing your very inspiring words. It was something that I really needed to read.
If you'd like to stop by my blog I'm at Cake Crumbs. With a post that's not nearly as inspiring.

Sneaky Momma said...

I'm so glad that you are out of that valley. What an amazing sunset. You captured it beautifully. :)

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Bravo, Chris. I am humbled. What a perfect post.

Michelle said...

Your words are as beautiful as that sunset. Happy Birthday to Sharon and Happy Happy to her for being cancer free.