Modeled after Sometimes the Earth is Cruel by Leonard Pitts Jr.
That is ultimately the fundamental lesson here, as we tied into our rope, ask our climbing partners if they’re on belay, and look up at the task to assess the best possible route.
Sometimes the sun glares and we cannot see the path. Sometimes clouds produce rain. Sometimes the wind blows loose rocks on us from above. And sometimes we lose our footing and fall 3 feet before dangling 60 feet in the air.
Sometimes the mountain is cruel. And always, when it is, we do the same thing. We double check the rope, and the harness and the helmet and the carabiners and the quickdraw and our anchor. We hope they are steady and we pray to God, and we swear and we cry and we hang on, literally, and take a deep breath. And we go on. This is not an extended metaphor, but it could be. It is the price of learning what we as humans are made of. And also, arguably, a measure of true grit.
Notes: In my class titled, “Teaching and Assessing of English,” we were learning about the importance of Mentor Texts. Our professor showed us Leonard Pitts, Jr.’s “Sometimes the Earth is Cruel,” and we were to use it as a model to create our own short narrative.