These ruins of a coal mining town in Southern Colorado have always intrigued me. They’re what remains of a community or business center. I imagine workers trudging up the steps to pick up a check, or couples eagerly climbing together on their way to a dance in the heyday of Colorado’s coalmining industry in the 1920s.
Now, of course, the steps lead to a big drop off.
Ever feel like that? Like you’re walking up and up and up, worrying all the way that what’s waiting for you at the end is a cliff?
That’s pretty common after a breast cancer diagnosis. What’s ahead? you worry. Am I going to get out of this alive? Or am I going to go through all this hideous treatment and end up with the mean stuff returning?
But you could look at the image differently. After nearly 90 years, the building is gone, but the steps remain. I see this as a metaphor for our lives. What is important is the journey, the striving, the reaching. How we get to where we are going is what matters. The destination is always unknown, but our journey toward it is really all we have, all we can count on, all we can control. The journey is our lives.
The endpoint in this image—that azure sky—is breathtaking. And as I look at the image, I find both energy and contentment in the fact that the stairs actually extend into that wondrous blue. Rather than seeing the stairs end, I see the sky begin. And in that sky, I see a beautiful new beginning.

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