Suicide Hill and the meaning of life


A few weeks ago (after our most recent big snowstorm) I invited a friend from work to hike Essex Street’s loop trail, around a hill that’s colloquially known as Suicide Hill.  It’s known as Suicide Hill since its angle is treacherously steep, often causing sledding conditions to become dangerous during the winter months.

We met for a quick lunch first, then my friend and I pulled on our boots and took to the trails.  The fresh snow made a gorgeous backdrop to the day’s activity, and someone had even gone before us with snowshoes – providing a welcome trail!

I hadn’t spent a lot of time with this friend of mine outside our work, it was great to talk with her not only about our job, but about our childhoods, tastes, and interests.  I think sometimes that sort of conversation can be stunted by the routine nature and fast pace that work presents us with.

As we were hiking, in the periods of silence that occurred between topics, I was thinking about the bigger picture.  With a name like Suicide Hill, it’s hard not to think about things like life, death, and meaning.  Someone once defined the meaning of life for me as other people.

For me, my first purpose and the ultimate meaning to my life will always lie in my relationship with Jesus Christ.  The depth that my life has taken on since my commitment to the Lord is almost beyond description, and finding ways that He is working in this world and joining in that work is so rewarding.

But a close second to this, for me, is certainly other people.  Deep relationships with family, co-workers, and friends are gifts beyond value.  Pouring into another person’s life, sharing their burdens, and celebrating life’s little wonders with them multiplies my joy and softens my pain.

This isn’t to say that it will always be given back.  Love, once shared, can be treated with respect and reciprocated, or it can be dismissed.  But the reactions of others and the past rejections that we’ve faced cannot overshadow the love and joy we still have.

As my friend and I finished our hike, talking and laughing, I was grateful for the other people I get to share my life with.  I consider myself extremely fortunate for the people I get to love, and the depth of meaning that others have poured into my life.

What about you?  How has your life been changed through the people in it?   Share in the comments below and join in the conversation.


I had the distinct pleasure of writing a guest post for my good friend Liz Brooks’ blog on all things story and writing!  Check it out here:

Danielle Hines

About Danielle Hines

Hello there! Glad you stopped by. My name is Danielle Hines and I’m a newlywed and a resident of Bangor, Maine. The funny thing about locals is that we rarely seem to find wonder or excitement in the places that surround us. We get caught in the rut of going from home, to work, then home again, etc. We spend months and months planning and saving for vacations to take us away from that very rut. But this is Vacationland!!! We are the destination that so many scheme for months to be able to come to. Behold, I offer you an alternative: why not try adventuring right here in your home state? What better way to spend weekends and days off, than to take a short drive and experience something amazing. So join me! Within the pages of my blog you’ll find date night ideas, quirky shops and stops, outdoor adventures, and unique destinations you never knew Maine had to offer. Grab your coffee and lace up your Bean boots – together we’ll discover and explore this great state of ours.