Friday, April 18, 2008

Down in the Valley

Yesterday I was blogging about the Valley. And when I mentioned that to a friend over coffee, he immediately said, "Oh, the valley of the shadow of death?" Because there is that negative connotation to the idea of the valley. We talk of emotional hills and valleys, and always assume that the valleys are those low spots we inevitably encounter.

But this morning the songs of my childhood began to play in my head again, and this is the one that sprang to mind today:

Down in the valley, valley so low
Hang your head over, hear the wind blow
Hear the wind blow, dear, hear the wind blow
Hang your head over, hear the wind blow.

Roses love sunshine, violets love dew
Angels in heaven know I love you
Know I love you, dear, know I love you
Angels in heaven, know I love you.

And I found myself thinking of one of my favorite movies as a child: Shangri-La. It's the story of a plane that crashes in the high Himalayas. The two survivors of the crash stagger through the snow and stumble upon an incredibly verdant valley, lost to time and presided over by a wise guru/monk. And though one of the men "gets it" and chooses to stay in this timeless space, the other falls in love, and in his desperate push to return to civilization he loses everything.

However painful the valleys in our lives may be, I think it is also there in the valleys, as we begin to seek our way out of whatever crash-and-burn we've just suffered, that true growth begins. It is there, in the valleys, that we find wisdom; it is there, in the quiet of the valleys, that we finally begin to hear the song of heavenly love that the angels have been singing since long before we crashed.

And isn't it possible that if we rush through the valley, desperate to return to what we knew before, we will lose our chance to savor all that love and wisdom? Not that we should revel in the lows, of course. But perhaps we need to be willing to set aside our previous notions of what life was supposed to be and just stay in the moment, plant ourselves in the compost of what was and await patiently the lush green fullness that is to come.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This post, and your Easy Street posting, speak deeply to my heart today. Thank you.
Love to you!