Kura Tawhiti, with its fabulous limestone formations and huge boulders, is one of our favourite quick day trips and a regular stop-off on our way to other places. For all our visits, though, we have never actually gone to the top of Castle Hill. So today, that was our destination (with many boulder-scaling detours along the way, of course).
The best part of the top of Castle Hill was the massive boulder jutting up from near the summit (I really think they should have put the trig marker on top of that rock—it really is the summit, more so than the ground below). Though I didn’t measure it, I’d guess the rock adds a good seven metres to the height of the hill. It dwarfed us all as we stood in its shadow.
It was a lovely walk to the top, though we were disappointed that we couldn’t actually make it to the top of that big rock. After a few minutes on top, we made our way down the other side of the hill.
Later, looking back toward the summit from a neighbouring ridge, that massive boulder looked tiny.
“The lesson,” my husband said, “Is that until you reach them, all your problems will seem insignificant. It’s only when they’re upon you that you’ll realise how utterly insurmountable they are.”
It wasn’t exactly the lesson I took (I was thinking that big problems, safely in the past, look small), but it’s a valid point. Sometimes we take on challenges or make decisions we know will lead to challenges in the future. At the time, those challenges might look manageable, but when we finally face them down, they could be huge.
Thankfully, we rarely have to face life’s problems alone unless we choose to do so. In fact, many of the big challenges that matter a great deal to us—raising kids, dealing with illness, facing loss—are really only manageable when shared. Sometimes, the hardest part is asking for help.
And then, once you’re past, the problems look smaller again. They look more manageable, because you did manage them.
So, don’t be afraid of those big challenges. They may be bigger than you think, but once you’ve made it past them, you’ll be able to look back from a distant ridge and say, “Well, maybe that wasn’t so bad after all.”