I'm climbing a mountain.

It's a journey I know well, I've embarked on it in the past, but it never gets easier.

The wind stings. The cold bites.

I have an idea of what is waiting for me at the peak of the mountain. If I complete the climb I know the wind will die and the cold will cease. The air is pure and fresh at the top, my lungs will feel like they are breathing for the first time. And the view, while I can't remember it clearly at the moment, is breathtaking. ....At least I think it is, I thought I remembered it that way. It is hard to think clearly in the harsh elements of the mountain.

Sometimes the journey is less periless, sometimes I can see the peak as I climb and it gives me hope.

Other times it seems impossible. The path is full of jagged rocks, of crevices much too wide to cross. I don't think I'll ever scale the mountain when it is like this. The harder I try and the quicker I run, the harder I fall when I hit a patch of ice. And there is always ice on the mountain. Occasionaly the wind roars so loudly and snow falls so fiercely that I can't see or hear anything. I'm blind and deaf, and no matter how loud I scream no one can locate me.

Along my endeavor I always come across a cave. It's location varies, but I always spot it. I know that if I go inside I will be sheltered from the wind and cold. There won't be any ice inside the cave. It will be mild, damp, and dark. Pitch black, in fact. It will be quiet and almost peaceful.

I'm tempted to seek shelter, and the cave is promising. I just want to be out of the cold, even if just for a short time. But I know that no one can find me inside the cave, and if I enter I may not have the courage to come out. I've spent some time inside before, and it was very difficult to leave, even when the sun was shining outside.

I keep up with the battle. Even if I move slow, I will eventually make it to the top.

Sometimes I lose my footing and I slip back to where I was previously. Those are some of the toughest times, when it all seems pointless. That's where I am now, I've slipped without truly realizing it until now. I just have to remember that I've been to the peak before, and I can make it again.

I hope I can make it again. After taking this journey several times I'm fatigued, and my resolve is starting to wary.

Just keep breathing. Keep moving.

Don't ever stop.

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