Valley and mountain moments all part of journey called life

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

Life is what you make of it. What we become and how far we go depends on how we choose to deal with the cards that come our way. 

The truth is that this journey called life is not all roses. It is fraught with difficulties and challenges that require endurance, perseverance and a steady focus to gain what we really want so that we are not sidetracked and lose our way when we fall.

It goes without saying that life is a journey of mountains and valleys. 

Yes there are mountain moments just as there are valleys.

What we must realise is that unless we go through the valley; we will not appreciate those mountain moments. It’s just the way it is, just as the popular saying that there is no gain if there is no pain. 

In other words, we cannot expect a mountain moment until we’ve learnt to sink and climb out of the valley. There is a reason for that. 

A valley teaches us to endure, persevere and aim high. It strengthens our resolves, develops character and teaches us to be patient. Those lessons when we learn them will make reaching the mountain top even sweeter. 

And when we’re enjoying the summit and looking back, we learn to appreciate that all the experiences are part of the process to build us to be better, stronger and steadfast. Why? So we continue to conquer.

As we go along, we find that the mountains become steeper and the valleys are tougher but if we stick to the basic principles, we quite often find they become easier as we go along.

We are at a time of the year where so many people are experiencing their mountain moments. Students doing well at school, graduates and all sorts of high achievers will know the feeling. The triumphs they are celebrating today taste that much sweeter because they know what it took to get there. They can appreciate how hard it was to reach their goal so that now they are finally sitting on the summit saying to themselves ‘well that was all so worth it.’

One such inspiring story that popped up last week was published on the front page of The Weekend Observer under the headline “Young Samoan recognised by her Majesty The Queen.” 

The story is about Petronilla Molio’o Mataeliga who has been awarded the Queen’s Young Leaders award, joining a group of inspirational young entrepreneurs in the world whose efforts have been recognised by the Queen of England. Ms. Mataeliga joins another fellow Samoan in the list of winners within the four years of the award, Erna Takazawa. 

But her story is both fascinating and inspirational.

“I gave birth when I was 20, and I felt that my life was done,” she told The Weekend Observer. “I messed up, but over time I realised that if I had given up, I would never have gotten to where I am now.”

So what did she do?

 Well she used her God given talents to help revive the art of weaving of the “fala-masi.” It was a tradition passed down from her grandmother from the village of Faleapuna. From those humble beginnings to the highs she will soon experience having an audience with the Queen, this is what we mean when we say we need to endure our valley moments so we can enjoy those mountain times.

Think about this for a minute. When this young lady became pregnant in a society where giving birth before marriage is frowned upon – she probably never imagined that this would happen to her one day? She could’ve just easily given up and become discouraged.

But she did not give up. She kept going and here she is today. What an achievement, what an honour. It’s something many well educated folks and filthy rich people can only dream of. But here is Petronilla, soon to make her way to London for the trip of a lifetime.

“This award really belongs to the legacy of my grandmother, and to my mother who continued it,” she said.

 “Having a child at such a young age, I never saw where God would take me. I ended up bringing the ‘fala-masi’ to my work. I teach my employees how to weave, and I’ve taught some of our people how to weave it as well.”

Today, the 25-year-old is now married with three children and manages Le Rosa Accommodation and Spa. She is proof that if we continue to persevere and do good without growing weary, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

To Petronilla and every one who are celebrating sweet successes at this time of the year for one reason or another, enjoy your mountain top moments. 

But if you are going through a period in the valley, learn to endure, be encouraged and lift your head up. Your mountain top moment is not far away. Believe it!

Have a great Thursday Samoa, God bless!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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