Sorry, Sir. No Elevator.

26 Oct

We had just checked into our lodging at a Navy facility — old retirees are pretty low on the reservation totem pole, but I got lucky this time — requested a room on the top floor, completed all the paperwork, picked up the room key, then thought to ask about the location of the elevator.  “You don’t have an elevator?”

”No, sir.  This is a renovated barracks and we don’t have an elevator.” A moment of existential angst.  Switch to the first floor?  Convenient, less effort, etc.  Or, keep the top floor — which in this case was the third — have a view, less possible room noise.  But no elevator to lift my wife, myself, two suitcases, a camera bag, a briefcase, a small ice cooler, and two bags of our standard traveling miscellaneous.  Don’t say it.  I know.  All of this plus my wife’s replaced knee and my now bad attitude produced ANGST.

But we kept the third floor room, climbed the stairs a few times to get things up there, sat in the room to recover and wondered why we were breathing so heavily, smiled at each other at the same time because we knew the answer without saying it.  Then we drew the curtains back and a better thought swept across us.  Astonishing views are most often seen from lofty heights.

Climbing the steps was the price we paid for seeing the Pacific Ocean in its grandeur.  No view from the first floor.  In the photo above, it’s the same truth for me.  There are 92 steps in this climb in the Catalina Mountains near our home.  The steps are well into the hike and there is an alternative route that avoids the famous 92.  Ah, but.  When I step off number 92 onto the high ridge line, the view is spectacular.  The theory works, also, in the ways we think and communicate with each other.  Too much first grade thinking and we all begin to sound like first graders.  Too much greedy, selfish thinking and some of us begin to hold what we have a little tighter.  Too much angry, condemning, confrontational thinking and many of us grow so anxious that we do the same thing.  Principled, thoughtful, reasoned thinking and communicating come from a higher position of human understanding and insight.  You have to climb some hard steps to get there.  But only there do we find the table of reason around which we can sit to catch visions of what might be…and to exercise the higher principles of humanity.

“No, sir.  We don’t have an elevator.” That’s okay.  We are still able to do it, a bit more slowly perhaps, but we decided that this would be good for us.  Promote better health, more stamina, stuff like that.  But it was the view that sealed the deal.  The “view—point” is the birthplace of dreams for those who climb the hard steps, common dreams for the common good.

One Response to “Sorry, Sir. No Elevator.”

  1. Judith Boroto October 27, 2018 at 7:50 am #

    Excellent. The world needs to hear this.

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