I went camping a week ago! Yep, I like camping. There is a lot to be said about being one with nature, even if it is just for a few hours, and getting to press that refresh button. I needed that! I was emotionally frustrated, physically and mentally exhausted and really just in need of some reflection time so the timing of it was perfect. Through reflection I was taken back to a moment I experienced over the winter break, here goes the sharing!!!
So, while I was in the beautiful land of the Swazis (Swaziland) I did a lot of dirt-road driving. I had to stop multiple times to appreciate the mountainous terrain. Now, if you’ve grown up around this it’s not that much to appreciate. In fact, you probably don’t like it very much because you, most likely, have had to walk it A LOT!!! But, having been in Oklahoma for a couple of years, the hills and mountains are that much more significant… See, PERSPECTIVE!!!
If you have driven on dirt roads, especially Swazi dirt roads, you know how frustrating it could get… Those potholes though!!!! But then it hit me, the dirt road I was on used to be a mountain. My perspective changed as I appreciated the fact that trucks (lorries, or whatever you call those vehicles that dig..hehe) had to grate through the mountains, a little rock and soil at a time, to make the road what it is now.
The trucks had to do the undone, go where no one else would dare to go. I’m sure there have been roads grated in other parts but in this new mountain, this act is the undone. Forming the road meant that trucks had to pave the way, literally; removing trees and shrubs, spending countless hours in ‘nothingness’ until there was light and the road was built. Think about that for a second. Isn’t it funny how we often find it hard to go where others haven’t gone and face the forests head one. We go through the motions and fear what is in our wilderness. We hide behind conformity, and fear breaking down the trees and shrubs that are between us and the goal. Isn’t it high time we all start to grate through our own forests – regardless of what they look like – and take a chance at making something out of the nothingness?
The dirt road we drove through had mountains on the side, rock and soil with different chemical make-up. Not to get technical or anything, but with the different pressure and composition of soil at different areas of the mountain there is bound to be variation. These differences do not change the fact that the road exists, they don’t change the fact that this used to be a mountain. I was there like, ok the HS, what are you saying? And he was like, you better stop acting like the different parts of where you are at – where your struggles are right now – convince you they won’t be over. He said, in digging through the mountain, the trucks attacked all the rock types with full force and that’s what you have to do. Of course, you may need different tools for different problems but they shouldn’t scare you. I was like, ayt then. Got you!! Seriously, I couldn’t argue with that.
The funny thing is, driving down the dirt road, the only thing I could do was complain. Complain about the potholes, complain about how rough the road was and everything in between. My first thought wasn’t to appreciate the job that the trucks (and the construction workers) did to get the road there. I did not appreciate how much work they must have put into it and how they successfully converted a mountain to a road and how much work was put into it. Humankind is configured that way though. I am sure we can all think about a moment, or moments, where blood and sweat was put into something and the final result was met with complaints from others (or even ourselves really). We (or they) didn’t realize how much it took, the risks that had to be taken, the trees that had to be uprooted. However, that doesn’t change the fact that work was done. Just take that in for a second.
As the semester comes to an end (my undergraduate career with it) I have been having a lot of ‘those’ moments. I have been wondering if it’s worth bringing down the mountain, whether the ‘nothingness’ can be something. I, and others, have feared grating through because of the uncertainties, the possibility of failure, the complaints that might come because of ‘potholes’ . But, here is the thing, it is all worth it. We are all working (and walking) our own mountains. The path to road construction may be long and tedious, the work may not seem worth it sometimes but it is. It is all worth it. Like the little truck that could, we too can!!!
Go ahead then, dig through that mountain. Make something out of nothing!!!!