Crossing the Mountains
In a lot of ways our journey through life is like a hiking trip over the mountains. We get to choose which path to take across the mountain and how we do it. The path we choose can either be an easy one or the hard one. Some start on the trail, but end up camping or turning back. People either carry a light load up the mountains, while others must carry a heavy one. The privileged get to ride a horse up the mountain or take a boat ride across the lake. It is important to finish the hike in order to fulfill your potential and to prosper in today’s world.
My trip up the mountain has included rough terrains and obstacles. My last few years in high school threw a few boulders in my path after my guardian had suffered from a stroke. I fell down my path for a short while but picked myself back up. Deep down I knew that I was hurting, angry, and grief-stricken, but the only way I could make it over the pass was by picking myself up from the ground. I cried and got little rest while I struggled to continue down my path. Afraid and alone I continued walking along the trail.
Every now and then a hiker is fortunate to get picked up by a horseback rider. My friend’s family was kind enough to let me ride with them during my last year of high school. They taught me values and that I should never stop following my path. I was reminded that I needed to put my potential to use and make something of myself. After healing from my wounds from my tumble, I was left to return upon my path alone.
Education can prove to be an obstacle for those less privileged. It is a costly opportunity that gets you across the mountain top. Fresh out of high school I ended up working two jobs to pay for my college. Many days I desired to quit walking my path and set up camp. Knowing that the land on the other side was green and prosperous kept me from setting up the tent too early. My backpack was getting heavy and my legs were trembling.
Luckily an opportunity came up that allowed me to lighten the load. A move to a different town allowed me to attend a tribal college. My pack was lighter, and I was given a walking stick to help me move along my journey with less hardships. Scholarships and opportunities offered from the college have allowed me to view the beauty of the mountain.
Everyone has their own path to follow. Whenever I want to stray from mine or head back to where I started, I think about my sister. The pack she carries is much heavier than mine. She is attending college while pregnant and taking care of her two boys. Her days are much longer and stressful than mine, yet she pushes forward. People ridicule her for being a young mother, but she doesn’t give up on her dreams. She wants to be successful and fruitful for herself and her family.
Whenever I feel like sitting down I take a long hard look at her path. The beauty of her strength pushes me further up the rocky mountain. Most people wouldn’t think about looking up to a teen mother, but I do. I see how many fallen trees and boulders my sister has crossed and realize how lucky I really am. There are less fortunate people out there, and they are still fulfilling their hopes and dreams. If anything it gives them added determination to succeed.
I have not reached the mountain top, but I am still pushing forward. The mountain pass can throw whatever it wants at me, but I know better than to give up. I will conquer the mountain and set foot on the other side. I wish to set my eyes upon the splendor of success. Desire to view the other side is what keeps me going. Failure is not an option if you want to run in the fields of prosperity.
Jamie Ball is a member of the Gros Ventre and Assiniboine tribes of the Fort Belknap Reservation. She is currently attending Blackfeet Community College in Browning, Montana and is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. Science and the arts have always captured her attention. She loves learning about the world and being able to use her imagination. Ever since she was a little girl she wanted to be an author. Her biggest influences are her family and friends.