“What’s up?” he asked.
“I don’t know. I just feel so angry sometimes. I’m really stressed with what I am trying to do at work, and…”
I won’t bore you with the details, but you get the picture. He reassured me that everything was going to be great and not to worry. Then, I dropped him and the little girls off at the church and our 15 year old and I joined other young women from our church and two other moms and hiked The Buffalo. The Buffalo is a striking mountain peak in Virginia. More striking is the view from the top.
I took some time to be alone, mostly because I needed to relax after seeing how close to the edge my daughter was willing to go, but also to reflect and ponder. Being a tad on the science geek side, I couldn’t help but admire the igneous and metamorphic rock there on top of the mountain. There is a slight scent of sulfur in the air that makes the crunch of the black rock beneath seem other-worldly. A large band of metamorphic rock caught my eye, and I stopped to admire the banding.
Here I was standing at the very top of a mountain, and all I could think of was this rock. Tremendous amounts of heat and pressure are required to transform sedimentary and igneous rock into metamorphic rock. Metamorphic rock is born deep in the belly of the earth. And yet, time and patience and the hand of God had brought it here into the open air for me to stand upon. And then I understood. Heat and pressure.
Much was being asked of me. Enough to make me feel “a little bit broken” inside. Heat and pressure were at work upon me. Heat and pressure have always been upon me. Disadvantage. Lost babies. Lost hair. Sickness. Children with broken hearts. Trials. Temptations. Burdens. I wasn’t really being a little bit broken. I was being a little bit stretched, pushed, pulled, and squished. I was metamorphosing, or as the dictionary says, “changing completely in form or nature.”
I looked down at the white and gray bands of minerals that had more switchbacks than the trail I had just climbed, and I smiled. Once, these elements felt heat and pressure under the burden the earth, and now they look down at the beauty below as king of the hill.