Over the hill...

When that phrase is used literally in the context of a crosscountry vacation trip, it conjures up a vision of something good. When we get "over the hill" we will enjoy a wider, more beautiful prospect. And from there on, we may be assured, it's easy going all the way home.

There's nothing to dread about going over the hill. Quite the reverse. We are promised wider possibilities, a greater feeling of joy and fulfillment. It is sad, then, that a phrase which has such promising connotations when used literally should be so downgraded in its popular, metaphorical sense as to imply a state of deterioration in old age—a narrowing view, horizons closing in, less joy, increasing struggle to keep going in what may seem to be an ever-steepening uphill climb of daily living.

Smoothing out our progress
August 28, 1978

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