There are days when I fully understand why the bear went over the mountain. the song says that he went to see "what he could see." It sounds as if he was disappointed as it continues that all he could see was… "the other side of the mountain."
Okay, maybe for some, it is a good thing to realize that the other side of the mountain is really… just the other side of the mountain. There aren't castles or rivers made of gold. The other side of the mountain is life; life just on the other side of the mountain.
But… what struck me this morning was that what lies on the other side of the mountain could be beautiful.
Yes, it is just the other side of the same mountain, and the idea behind the song is most like something similar to people learning that the grass might look greener on the other side of the fence, though it likely isn't or it comes with all the challenges that exist on your side of the fence - or equal if not different challenges.
It is that idea that all of our challenges will disappear when we get a new job, when we move to Florida, when we are on vacation, when our kiss graduate from high school…. We are waiting to hit the magic that lies on the other side of the mountain without realizing fully that the other side of the mountain might look different butyl our challenges live within us - not in a situation or a specific physical location. If we want to change things, we have to change the way we think and live - not where we live.
But as I took a turn this morning and headed a direction that was all new to me with the simple thought - I wonder what lies on the other side? I started thinking about said bear.
The song sounds sad - "All that he could see was the other side of the mountain…"
As I walked with the intention of finding out what lay on the other side of this campus, I found myself amazed at what I saw. Gorgeous houses with lovely yards; quiet and peace in a city that isn't known for such things; and a sense of history. Suddenly the entire area took on a new feeling for me.
A few miles later I arrived, weirdly enough as it was not my intent, back where I started having journeyed to the other side and circling the entire campus….
And wow… It was just the other side of the campus… that was what I saw, the other side of the campus.
And yet… I saw so much more.
The song doesn't tell us what the bear actually saw. If he saw new and different trees; if the birds sang a little differently; or if the streams and rivers were as plentiful as those he knew on his side of the mountain. It doesn't tell us if he enjoyed his trip over the mountain.
All that said, it reminds us to make the journey… To stop and make the time to journey up the mountain to see what is there. Sure, it might just be the other side of the mountain, exactly the same as that which he traveled - or it might be totally different. And who knows, it might be easier for the bear to ask an eagle or hawk "What's on the other side of this mountain?" saving him the trip entirely.
But, in the end, he might find himself a better bear for making the trip;for exploring his options;for stretching his legs.. and for seeing, really seeing, the other side of the mountain over asking someone else or over choosing to believe in a life over there that doesn't exist.
This morning I could have dropped an e-mail to a friend who attended the university and asked… What is on the other side? Is it worth the walk? Instead, I took advantage of a low humidity, gorgeous, vacation day… and I went to explore for myself.
What do you think of the bear and his journey to see what was on the other side of the mountain?
Do you journey to see what lies on the other side?