The Metaphors of Life

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My life is an amusement park. Some of my experiences have been quiet, tame and routine like a merry-go-round. I know what to expect from day to day, and even though there are a few ups and downs they aren’t so bad that I don’t enjoy the ride. Sometimes I feel as though I am on a ferris wheel where I get a bird’s eye view of the world below me. I feel a little butterfly in my stomach when I’m going down, but the ride to the top is thrilling and quite enjoyable. The roller coaster days throw me. I’m whipped around and I become wary and concerned when the car carrying me goes almost vertical as it rises higher and higher. I know that I am in for a big drop. I feel the danger coming and it is uncomfortable, foreboding. Nonetheless, I have somehow managed to survive all of those terrifying downward motions each time they have come. I’ve been able to eventually laugh and count myself lucky time and again. I’d have to say that all and all my journey from ride to ride has been fun.

I’d also say my life has been a mountain climb. The pathways are ever changing from almost level and smooth to steep inclines filled with rocks and even boulders in my way. The trip has never been straight, but rather comprised of a series of switchbacks that test my stamina and determination. The rewards have been breathtaking when I arrive at a lake hidden in a valley or look out from on high at a vista that is like nothing I have ever before seen. I have not yet reached the summit, but I see it up ahead and I keep marching ever higher, sometimes panting for air and more often just steadily overcoming all of the hazards along in my way. It is a glorious experience and even when I am so exhausted that I think I cannot go any farther, I know that I have it in me to push just a bit more. Up ahead there is surely something remarkable.

My life has been a tour of weather. Around where I live that means that within the same month I might feel the heat of the sun bearing down on me or storms blustering with high winds and destructive floods. A cold spell might show up at any time leaving me hungering for warmth. Just when I am reveling in the contentment of blue skies and perfect temperatures it all changes into a frightening situation. On the whole, however, the rain is soft and nourishing for my plants and my soul. The variety of hot and cold makes life interesting. I have learned how to hunker down when I need to do so. I’ve seen that the loss of things is not as big a deal as a disruption of relationships. I adapt and go with the flow of the winds.

I always say that I am not very good at putting together jigsaw puzzles, but that is not really the truth, because my life has been one gigantic puzzle. Sometimes it looks jumbled and I feel as though I am a misfit. Then in a burst of discovery pieces begin to fly together without much effort at all. I’ve had times when someone knocked over the completed sections of my puzzle and everything fell apart. I had to begin again. I had to deal with my anger and disappointment. I had to develop patience and persistence. I had to back far enough away to realize that I was actually making progress in becoming the person I want to be. 

Life is truly a metaphor or is a metaphor life? How does one ever really know other than to embrace the experiences even when they are not what we had hoped they would be. Every single one of us will endure challenges that seem unbearable. We will have heartbreaking losses. Happily, there always seems to be a balance. We will enjoy times that are glorious, unforgettable. Most of our days will feel ordinary, routine, and yet those may in fact be the best of our lives.

I suppose that I am about average when it comes to life. I’ve had my share of hardship, but when my life has been good, which is most of the time, it has been very very good. I have been lucky to be surrounded by lovely and compassionate people for all of my days. They have been there to comfort me and to celebrate my joys. I can’t say that I have ever been abused or betrayed. I have a gift of intelligence, and I say that not to brag, but in the humility of gratitude. My ability to learn has helped me to overcome even my darkest days. The support of the people in my life has assured me that I will never be stuck alone in a horrible situation. My life has been bountiful even when I had little money. I know how to survive and that pushes me up the mountain, helps me to repair the damage of the weather, keeps me working on the puzzle that sometimes frustrates me. 

I don’t believe that life is a bowl of cherries nor was it meant to be. There has never been any miracle or magic that keeps us from encountering sorrow. Instead, if we are lucky, we learn how to find joy wherever we are and whatever our circumstances may be.