It’s just a hill, get over it.

When you are at the bottom of a mountain and look up, it seems far off. 

We go anyway. We know there is something greater, beyond what our eyes see at the start. The trek up teaches us of regional flora and fauna, along with how elevation tests our character and willingness to continue. At Lassen’s Peak, the trudge of our hiking boots mimic the sounds of our hearts.

When we get to the top, the perspective changes. In fact, the day prior, we looked at the tiny snow cap from the feature photo. On the summit, we come to terms with our journey. We rest, contemplate the trek, and bask in the overlook/viewpoint/summit, whatever that might be. It’s a story, every time.

A chapter in this road called life.

This week, I am humbled to be hosting the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, and I am inviting you to join me in exploring what Over The Hill means to you.

Honestly, I was a little caught off guard as we were packing the Jeep, looking at Arizona in the rearview mirror. The destination was a 30-day loop through the Pacific Northwest with hiking on our mind.

Over the hill? Quite possibly an understatement.

At Mt. Rainier, we knew better. We watched summit hikers break-off, straight up, towards Camp Muir while we opted to wander around the ribbons of trails.

Besides…the local marmots stake claim as king of these hills.

It’s just as well. Hanging with the wildflowers suits me fine. The amethyst-colored heather on Rainier’s mountain meadows, seem to carry the lupine up the rocky hills with the asters in tow. The Indian Paintbrush seem to land where a statement is needed and I chuckle to think they might be competing for the best of show.  

Do they even know of their immeasurable impact?

The Olympics, known for their lush rain-forests and their countless waterfalls, has forest doors down to it’s rocky coast. The shoreline driftwood tells of the powerful surf, but we also discovered a quiet, seeping tide at Cape Alava, and seaside stacks to explore on Rialto Beach.

The hillsides of Napa Valley and the Redwoods? They speak for themselves.

And Yosemite? It is best described as a real life coffee table book.

Yosemite is also home to El Capitan, the 3000′ vertical monolith that only the best of the best attempt to climb. Seems surreal that anyone would want to sleep swinging from a ledge during the three or four day trek. They do, and I laughed at the nonchalance of our camp neighbors explaining how it is just a hobby.

The return to Arizona and my hill looks different. The calendar reminds me I turn 60 this week. Over the hill? Ha. With age there is wisdom, with wisdom there is clarity, with time we are nudged into a place that defines our character, and with understanding, we soak in the goodness of our presence.

I can’t speak to what might be over this next hill, but I ponder life much like I did sitting on a ledge at Mt. Rainier. What is over that hill?

Not sure…I guess you will find out when I do.

Wherever you are, be all there. Jim Elliot

Wind Kisses, Donna

Your turn.  

This week the Lens-Artists community invites you to share images of what over the hill means to you.  Maybe you enjoy watching ant colonies. Is mountaineering in your future?  Does “over the hill and faraway” resonate with you?  Is there a storm brewing, a sun rising, a challenge you don’t want to face? That age thing. The options are endless. I hope you will have fun creating something that represents over the hill for you. I look forward to seeing your perspective. Please use the Lens-Artists tag, link your post back to me, and/or share in the comments so we can find you

Last week Tina challenged us to explore, Opposites. I encourage you to go back and look at the outstanding submissions. It was a fantastic challenge, with vast creativity. Who knew opposite could have so many interpretations? Next week she’ll lead again with a Treasure Hunt. Make sure to visit her Travels and Trifles site next week to join the fun.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists Community Challenges? Click here for more information.