Have you ever watched a rock slide or avalanche? The thing that amazes me is that it happens so very fast, but not all at once. It isn’t as if every rock or bit of snow starts falling at the same time. It starts with just one. One cleave in the snow, one boulder falling. But even more, it can be a tiny pebble that literally devastates the mountain. For years, pebbles have been sliding down the face of the mountain, and the mountain could stop them and hold them. The mountain prevented them from falling into the abyss. The mountain prevented one pebble from taking the others. And then, one day it is just too much. There are too many one more pebbles. There are too many to hold safe any longer. It begins so small, with the one pebble falling off the cliff. Now the path has been laid for sliding off the mountain and the others follow. First a few small ones, then bigger and more, and bigger and more until the whole face of the mountain is slipping and sliding, crashing and rushing.
At the bottom is a pile. The mountain is forever altered. The pile begins its own life. There is no returning to the mountain to how it was before the rock slide.
One of my favorite meditations I did with Cassie Premo-Steele talks about comparing yourself to a mountain. Allowing the weather to move around the mountain. The emotions to sweep over you. However, these emotions to do not move the mountain. The idea is lovely.
What happens when the mountain can no longer hold up to the weather? What happens when part of the mountain is swept away. What happens when the weather and the emotions are more than I can take.
I know what happens. The side slides down. The emotions overwhelm and all of the tiny pebbles I had been holding fell away. I was left exposed, raw, hurt, disfigured. But the mountain stayed. The change was on the surface. The core remains. I am still a mountain. I am not the same mountain, but I am still a mountain.