There is something about a ladder that inspires me to climb to new heights, but the most persistent urge is to defy my strong sense of reality, of the practical, and climb so high that the ladder disappears below. As the wooden rungs disintegrate, they are replaced by thick, dark, winding green tendrils of beanstalk. I climb and climb, higher and higher, until the most beautiful skyline appears. A sharp intake of breath, then another calmer one and I am fully enjoying the view, the feeling of being “up above it all.” I take a step towards the lushest, greenest grass I have ever seen and begin to wonder about The City Park Jungle, the place I used to visit as I kid when I would lay so flat on the earth that the very tall grass would obscure any view of me. I loved imagining that I was invisible yet safe, and this is how I wind up feeling so far above the civilization below.
I loved all the tiny creatures who were in the jungle with me. But alas, remembering the tiny creatures in the grass, leads me to ponder the fact that I have escaped into my childhood fantasy while standing on top of a very high beanstalk, only to be reminded of the giant in Jack’s adventure. I wonder if he is here now but quickly recover as I remind myself that not only is this my fantasy, but also that I am in control of what happens to me up here.
I may not be in complete control of what happens to me today, but I am in control of how I feel and how I react to the circumstances of each unfolding moment. Today I will climb like this, choosing to be happy and light…suspending any thought that threatens to alter this view-from-the-top perspective, despite the ever-present hunger of the giant.