Take a walk with me to a place every wife knows. A place that gets darker the higher you climb and where sunlight seems to wither and die away with each difficult step. A place that tests the limits of your strength and your sanity. Chances are, you’ve been here before.You’ll need to pack well, tread lightly, and pray hard. Walk with me to a place called Man-Cold Mountain.
Woe to the wife making this journey today. Our thoughts, prayers, and hopes go with you, bidding you safe passage.
Most journeys begin with a few easy steps, a strong commitment and at least a sprinkle of excitement. Man-Cold Mountain is not one of those journeys. The journey across Man-Cold Mountain begins with a sudden drop from the grace of solid ground, into a graying and murky swamp. I weep for the wife who is making her very first trek into, and hopefully through, Man-Cold Mountain. We all weep for you, from a distance.
The murky swamp sucks at your feet as you step forward. It begs you to stay in one place, immobile and attentive. Soon moss covered roots from beneath the surface begin inching up toward you. They don’t immediately appear threatening as they beg to wrap themselves around your torso. You hear a voice call to you, a needy desperate voice saying “hug me, hold me, just stay here with me”, and the panic sets in. RUN! RUN before it’s too late!
THE COUGH SHARE:
Climbing out of the clinging desperate waters, feeling triumphant and hopeful, you continue. The ground that had become mush, quickly hardens under your steps and before you have time to enjoy your victorious stride, the next leg of your journey erupts, knocking into your ears with impatient force. The sounds around you explode! Thunder joins wind and rain pelting your face and clothes. A moment later you realize with horror that the wetness slapping your senses into high alert resembles spears more than rain. Spears of acidic bacteria begin a vicious assault. Infected arrows fight to penetrate your armor. Your best defense is to escape. No weapon has yet been successful in defending against this spray of violence. Everything around you that is touched by the arrow quickly wilts, rots and dies.
Some of you will make it out of the acid rain unscathed, others will fall to the arrows. I wish I could tell you that your demise was noble, that your efforts were not in vain, but alas, I cannot. Man-Cold Mountain feels no remorse. However, if you did survive, you’ll have mere minutes to compose yourself before the journey turns again.
THE SUDDEN CURE:
Run if you can find the strength, crawl if you have nothing left, but do not stop here under any circumstance. There is calm here, but it is a lie. In the peaceful quiet of this slightly brightening track lurks an enemy. He is a mirage. He plays a beautiful song, sweet and soft and your heart will yearn to follow the sound. If you do, you will find that the music leads you blindly back to the land of spears and thunder. But, if you hold onto your resolve, push past the enchanting song and walk on, the end of Man-Cold Mountain will soon be found.
Bloodied, exhausted and clinging to sanity, you will find the glorious end of Man-Cold Mountain’s dreadful path. You are a survivor. Take a moment to celebrate your victory, and get ready. The path through Man-Cold Mountain will soon be upon you again.