A L O N G time ago, I dated a young man whose dream was to have a house on the top of a hill surrounded by pastures filled with lots of cows. He wanted nothing more than to live in a castle at the top of his kingdom. That has a nice sound to it and any old shack such as the one above would be fine. What you do not see in this picture is the pasture is filled with cow poop land mines. You cannot take a step without danger of stepping into a pile. So while the view is beautiful, the walk up the hill is filled with danger of stepping into a pile of smelly poop.
Here in the hood, we are surrounded by hills. The land slopes up in the hood and in all three directions when you leave the hood. Those who live at the bottom of the hill have a drainage ditch behind them where the water from four directions pours. One neighbor stated he had flood insurance due to the water coming up in his backyard with major rains. The problem is real.
At the top of the hill, there is the danger of erosion from the swiftly running water when we have a gully washer. Many of the ditches are lined with rocks and various other measures to slow the water. The HOA president stated a gallon of water weighs nine pounds. MANY gallons of water run through these steeply sloping ditches and the weight of the water takes anything in its path with it--dirt, rocks, debris--anything ! A swiftly running current spares nothing and no one in its path.
When hiking in the Rockies, the cardinal rule is be OFF the mountain top by noon due to the threat of afternoon thunderstorms. One trip we missed that cutoff and were caught high on the Alpine meadow when a swiftly moving thunderstorm approached. I have never hiked so fast! The thunder was warning us of the rapidly approaching black clouds and we broke into a run trying to get back to the tree line before the lightning caught up to us Were you aware when you are over 10,000 feet the sound of thunder is deafening! We were exposed with no rocks, no trees, no caves to hide behind or within and the danger was real while on the top.
We spend a great deal of time and energy trying to get to "The Top" in life. Looking up the hill the top looks wonderful, but standing on top of the hill you begin to realize you are exposed from all sides. An easy target for those who would love to take your place. The view at the top is certainly breath-taking, but the cost of trying to stay on the top can be heavy.
I have grown to love being a third of the way down the hill. I can see the top, but I have protection from all directions. I am surrounded by houses. My good neighbors are always watching out for me and I feel very safe and secure. It has the feeling of sitting in the middle of a family portrait and being surrounded by all that love.
SO--morale of this post---if you are trying to get to the top--it may well come with trouble. There is much to be said for standing in the midst of the crowd. Safety comes with numbers. Remember my bear story---Bears have never attacked a group of four or more. BUT that lone morsel standing on the top of the rock all alone---may look like dessert before hibernation for the bears all around. Believe me--we are surrounded by bears--sometime literally and always figuratively! Sometimes it is best to stay in the safety of the crowd and forget the quest to be at the top. The easiest targets are always at the top of the heap.
“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.