There Will Be Laundry

Blog_MountaintopThe thing about mountaintops is you can’t stay there too long. There comes a time when you have to leave the awe-inspiring landscape behind for another, less magnificent view. Like the mountain of laundry overflowing from the hamper. Or the colorful vista of dishes in the sink. Or the panoramic scenery of toys strewn across the living room floor.

I recently returned from a mountaintop of my own—a writers’ conference not far from where I live, giving me the luxury of commuting the short distance rather than staying on campus. While others enjoyed a much-needed escape from the daily grind, I had the benefit of returning each night to a house full of responsibilities. At least it made the last-day transition more bearable. It wasn’t such a shocking jolt back into reality when the glorious mountaintop vista finally faded from view.

As hard as it can be to face daily life after being immersed in something more appealing, reality can teach us something most mountaintops can’t. Especially if you’re a writer. The greatest of words flow from the humblest of circumstances, from the grit of everyday living. We can’t write what we haven’t lived, and if we haven’t lived. Yes, there’s life on the mountaintop. But there’s wisdom in the monotony of the valley that can’t be gleaned from anywhere else.

I’m grateful for the mountaintops. But I’d get bored if I had to live there. Give me a rugged terrain, filled with highs and lows and in-betweens. There, I find life. And there, I find words.

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5 comments

  1. Well said. I have been trying rather desperately to get writerly things done since the conference. My family, especially my elderly parents have been overly needy. My week away was hard for them. i was blessed to only come home to laundry because my sweet daughter-in-law did all the cleaning all week. So each day Iheck some needed writing responsibility off my list . A little slower than I would like but I keep pressing on knowing it is what God called me to do.

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    1. Great advice. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all that needs to be done and all I want to do when time is so limited. At least I’d make some progress on my creative agenda with a one-thing-a-day checklist. Thanks for that. Also, praying for you and your parents and all your needs at this time.

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  2. I am actually visiting the mountatins that I love right now knowing that I will be leaving tomorrow to return to a mountain of laundry as you talked about and a mountain of responsibilities at work with no time off in sight any time soon. You are so right, though…the mountains help us appreciate the valleys. Thanks for sharing…much needed reminder on my last day of my mountain retreat before returning to day to day reality!!

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