Douglas Sterling Cain (11-20-1954 to 05-06-2017)

Even a Mountain Can Get Worn Down

A 2015 Essay by Douglas S. Cain

As I have faced the multitude of challenges over the past several years, I have gotten worn down.  This is not a pity party by any means but instead a celebration, a confirmation, that things happen for reasons and in cycles that we don’t always understand or even see.  But in the end, if you know where to look, you will understand why it is important for “Even a Mountain to Get Worn Down”.

The life cycle of a mountain getting worn down has its purpose.  Think of the wearing down of the Grand Canyon and the eons of time and the multitude of forces it took to create that magnificent grandeur.  Then think of something else.  Think deeper.  For while the windswept beauty of the top and sides of the Canyon are impressive, the real action is way down below…down at the bottom.  Where the water is…Where the LIFE IS.

Down at the bottom where the mighty Colorado has been cutting away through that mountain to create what we call the Grand Canyon – there lies the true beauty born of the struggle.  It’s not the millions of years and trillions of tons of water that were needed to create it, but the resulting simplicity of today and today’s river and today’s life at the floor of that canyon.  The birds, deer, fish, and all other matters of life are down there, where the life is, where the action is.

I think of my life as a mountain.  A mountain where there are peaks and valleys but also there are canyons.  Deep canyons, canyons that look like they have taken a lifetime of pain and struggle to make, but look closer.  Down at the bottom where some see only the struggle of their own personal Colorado River, cutting through their lives, I see something different.

I see LIFE.

Seeing what life has brought to me:  failures, successes, cancer, survival, and an endless number of business cycles to deal with, I look at it as the developmental part of my life.  But with each new challenge I find I dig a little deeper and I find LIFE at the bottom.

So as you face the inevitable challenges, or even an unending series of challenges, I offer this suggestion.  There is something great, something greater that only you can imagine that is deep inside of each of you.  But it is something that can only be created by traveling today’s trials and traveling them with grace and elegance.  You are a mountain.

Postscript: This essay was written by Lake’s late CEO while he struggled to defeat an aggressive cancer. While the cancer prevailed, Doug’s spirit and message continue to guide Lake Truck Lines to this day.