Time Warp Tuesday: “Climb Every Mountain”

I am way late to this week’s Time Warp Tuesday. It’s been a crazy week, and also the only post in which I’ve quoted lyrics was that darn Glee post, AGAIN! Sheesh! I just can’t get away from that particular essay. There’s probably a reason for that.

But then I had a few minutes to myself and realized that I often post YouTube clips of songs that are inspiring me in some way. And I remembered this post, about climbing mountains metaphorically and physically. Again with the mountains! I suppose I write about Glee and mountains a lot.

I note in this post that I loved the song “Climb Every Mountain” from Sound of Music when I was young. If I really remember watching that movie, which we used to do every Thanksgiving weekend, that is a false memory. My favorite real song was “I am Sixteen Going on Seventeen”. In actuality, it was my parents who always insisted on turning up the volume when Mother Superior began her song of chasing your dream. I always remember my dad saying that the actress who played her possessed a singular gift for vocalizing. But I wonder now if that beautiful lyric and melody combination was more effecting to them than I realized. That it probably spoke to them, deeply.

While most movies and songs focus on new love, young love, betrayals, love lost and coming of age stories, there is not a lot of material for the “middle”. Most of life is “middle”: enduring losses, working exhausting and mind-numbing jobs (if we’re lucky enough to keep them), raising children (if we are lucky enough to have them), going through serious trials like financial crunches, and just the tedious monotony of our incredibly demanding lives, whether it be getting up at 5:45 AM to begin our days of driving, working, meetings, children’s activities and the exhaustion we feel when we climb into bed at 11:30 to sleep five hours to begin it all again.

“Climb Every Mountain” speaks to the middle. The wise mother superior, who has probably seen it all (except Nazis, but alas, that comes later), advises the novice nun to:

Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
‘Till you find your dream.

A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life
For as long as you live.

See, what no one told me is that after you achieve the dream you climb the mountain EVERY DAY. I am incredibly fortunate to have achieved my dream of having a wonderful family. But my dream of having a family does NEED all the love I can give, every day of my life for as long as I live.

And so an important, ignored phase in the circle of life is given words in this song. And I am grateful for them, because I so often need help navigating “the middle”.

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5 Comments

Filed under Discovering joy, Time Warp Tuesdays

5 responses to “Time Warp Tuesday: “Climb Every Mountain”

  1. I had never thought about it this way, but you’re right! Our fairy tales and oft-told stories completely ignore the biggest chunk of our lives:

    “there is not a lot of material for the “middle”. Most of life is “middle”: enduring losses, working exhausting and mind-numbing jobs (if we’re lucky enough to keep them), raising children (if we are lucky enough to have them), going through serious trials like financial crunches, and just the tedious monotony of our incredibly demanding lives”

    I love how you ended this post with gratitude.

  2. Esperanza

    I read this post this morning and proceeded to have Climb Every Mountain in my head for most of the morning. Thanks for that… 😉

    I too am coming to face to face with “the middle” of my life. I think that is one of the reasons I so want to have another baby, because it’s a change that allows me to ignore the fact that I have “arrived” and there is nothing else I’m looking to achieve. When we’ve arrived at the life we’ve always wanted there is nothing left to do but live it and that can be a lot harder than we expected. The reality is we didn’t really expect the living part at all. When most of the beginning of our lives is about working towards things, transitions and change, it’s hard to find yourself in a seemingly stagnant place.

    One of the wonderful things about kids though is they keep changing, so our lives change with them. And that is exciting and fun. In the meantime though we have to make sure that our daily lives are at least in some ways fulfilling, or climbing every mountain might start feeling a little mundane.

    • Ana

      Wow! I think you just nailed it….this is exactly what I’ve been trying to formulate into words. “nothing left to do but live it.” yes, this is exactly where I am and I don’t quite know how to negotiate the lack of forward momentum. Job, house, marriage, kids….yet happiness did not magically appear…only new challenges.

  3. I *love* the Sound of Music, but I never thought about that song in quite that way. I never thought that something that needed all the love I can give might be *hard*. Definitely some interesting food for thought there.

    Although I have thought quite a bit about how stories end, but life goes on. I like to know the end of a story before I read it. Call me crazy, but then I can enjoy the details without getting stressed out. Of course, this makes life very difficult, because I can’t possibly know the end. Because, like you said, most of life is lived in the “middle”.

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

  4. Here from Time Warp Tuesday and I am sorry it took me so long to get here to read and comment this week (I am so glad you decided to participate again)! I loved your post and especially relate to this part:

    “What no one told me is that after you achieve the dream you climb the mountain EVERY DAY. I am incredibly fortunate to have achieved my dream of having a wonderful family. But my dream of having a family does NEED all the love I can give, every day of my life for as long as I live.”

    So very true and not the easiest thing to come to terms with.

    I also really appreciate this part of Esperanza’s comment:

    “When we’ve arrived at the life we’ve always wanted there is nothing left to do but live it and that can be a lot harder than we expected. The reality is we didn’t really expect the living part at all. When most of the beginning of our lives is about working towards things, transitions and change, it’s hard to find yourself in a seemingly stagnant place.”

    I seem to be motivated by working towards goals too, who doesn’t, right?! But really find inspiration in the idea that at certain times in life it is enough to try to be content and grateful for what we have and not be so focused on what’s might be coming up for us in the future.

    Thank you for a very thought provoking post and for doing the Time Warp again with us this week! 🙂

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