At a recent mindfulness retreat I was guided through a mountain pose meditation. I thought of Haleakala, with her long, gradual slopes encompassing most of the island of Maui. I thought of how she is always there with a universe of beings on her. Her movement is imperceptible. She is massive and steady. She allows whatever is to be. Sometimes all around her is very clear and to see the totality of her expanse, her massiveness is awesome. Sometimes the clouds are covering her so that it’s easy to forget she’s there. But even when the clouds are so socked in that her peaks are not seen, traveling up her slopes, gradually moving higher and higher to where the air thins and the ears pop, still there’s more of her way beyond. On the road in the clouds with dropping temperature and rain there’s a slight barely perceptible lightness that shifts. Then a small glimpse of blue. Then suddenly you’re in the sunshine again. A completely clear sky of the deepest blue and a bright sun that seems close enough to touch. Her peak is almost always clear with a vista above the clouds. Able to look down and see the storms below, the rain, the fog, the low visibility. But looking out ahead to clearness, clarity, infinity. The awareness of being a part of a larger whole. Of belonging. An awareness of the steadiness of the Earth and our universe regardless of occasional disturbances below. I strive to be like Haleakala. Steady, consistent, stable, with clarity and a deep knowing beyond the moments of disturbance. Sometimes I forget the peak is there when I’m so tuned into the clouds, the fog, the rain. In those moments it’s hard to remember the peak and there’s fear in trying to reach it. But it’s there. It’s always there. And I believe it’s always there for us all. Counseling can be a pathway to discovering or remembering the peak, though the journey can be scary at times, frustrating, sometimes even overwhelming. But one day the light begins to shift, and the small glimpse of blue begins to peek through. Then suddenly the sun shines bright again. From this vantage point, high above the turmoil below, there’s a deep knowing and understanding that puts things into perspective and shifts the view moving forward. Even after descending from the peak, there’s a vision of it that always remains. A knowing that it is always there.