The Dip in the Valley

Photo by Maher El Aridi on Unsplash

When talking about difficult times or going through depression, I think we’ve all heard the different phrases people throw out about mountains and valleys.

In some of the phrases, the mountain is the goal, and in others, it’s the trial. In some phrases, the valley is the goal, and in others the valley is the trial, the lowest point.

I’ve always leaned toward the mountain being the trial, probably because I’m not that much of an outdoorsy person and climbing a mountain seemed like much more of a trial than walking along in a valley.

At the same time, I’ve loosely associated the thought of being “in the valley” as being in a low place, mentally and spiritually.

I suppose, in terms of depression, if you were to use valleys and mountains as metaphors, the mountain would be the goal, as it goes up, and if directions were the only way to describe depression, up and down would certainly be semi-accurate descriptions.

So up is my goal, therefore the mountain is my goal.

Lately, I feel like I’ve stepped into a dip in the valley. Or a ditch. Not exactly a bottomless pit, but it certainly feels lower than I started. Not underground, yet, either, thank God.

But I feel like I’ve reached a dip in the valley. And in talking about one phrase, others come to mind. “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” or “Everything is hard before it is easy” (purportedly from Goethe). I’m probably holding these proverbs, aphorisms, what have you, close to give myself a little relief, and little bit of distance from what I’m feeling. I’m trying to see the dip in the valley as not being lower, but as a sign that I’m coming to the end of the valley, and going up the mountain.

So, back to that dip in the valley. My point? I suppose my point is to remember that the difference between a dip and a bottomless pit is that with a dip, you can walk out the other side, and go back up into the valley. And once you’re back in the valley, you can continue on in your journey toward that mountain. And then up that mountain.

Or whatever. Honestly, the mountain as the goal doesn’t always work for me because inside I’m going, “Wow, that sounds exhausting,” and I’m already so, so tired.

I don’t know. Maybe I just want the valley to be nice. Maybe I just want to make a little home in it, build a little cabin, and be led by still waters and have my soul restored. Maybe I don’t want to climb the damn mountain, but I also don’t want to die in the valley. Maybe I should just move to the coast.

And this is where you can get off the crazy train. I’m just rambling, and honestly, it’s nice to sometimes just ramble on in public.

I hope, if you’re the type of person that sees the mountain as the goal, that you reach that summit.

I hope, if you’re the type of person that sees the valley as the goal, that reach those quiet fields, that river with the pure water, that you can rest by.

I hope you reach it, whatever it is.

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