Whether you are a die-hard Stevie Nicks fan, or you love the newer more musically involved cover of the song by the Dixie Chicks, or you appreciate the added emotional depth lent to it by Glee, there is no denying that “Landslide” is simply a beautiful song.
Stevie Nicks’ lyrics are poetry,
and the message is personal.
Regardless of who sings this song, it never fails to make me stop whatever I’m doing to listen all the way through, and I always cry. Everyone takes something different away from this piece. Here’s my take.
I took my love, and I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide brought me down
In my previous relationships, I wore my love as a heavy cloak. I didn’t just fall in love, I fell in obsession. And yeah, the landslide brought me down.
This was largely because I didn’t love myself, and I was looking for that hole to be filled by everyone around me. I can still remember how it feels to put on that heavy cover, to bury myself in someone else, to struggle uphill, and to realize when I reached the top that I stood alone. The guy didn’t love me as much as I loved him.
There must be something wrong with me, I would think, that I could be so unlovable.
I looked at myself through distorted, rose-tinted glasses, foggy from the climb, and all I could see was everything coming down around me. I crashed to the bottom, over and over again. My depression kicked in and I was suddenly the loneliest person on the planet. Because, once again, the landslide brought me down.
Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
From the bottom of the abyss, where I crashed-landed on a regular basis, I finally looked up. I saw hands reaching down to pull me up.
They had always been there, but I was so busy feeling sorry for myself, hiding under the snow, I couldn’t ever see how loved I was. A joy began to bloom inside me, and I finally took a risk, reaching out for the hands.
Amazed, I found them to be my own. I pulled myself out of the ravine. I looked around, and found myself alone, but not lonely. And I started to ask myself the hard questions.
Who am I really?
What do I need?
What can I do to feel better?
Why was it that the landslide brought me down in the first place?
This was the beginning of my recovery from depression. I examined my self-loathing and found no reason to hate myself. I am as deserving of love as any child or adult.
I was ready to change, to meet love of myself with open arms, no cloak, nothing to hide beneath, no mountains to climb.
Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older and I’m getting older too
I had spent so much time dedicated to self-misery. And so much more time dedicated to finding love in all the wrong places. These were my mountains. I made my own tragedy.
But finally I came to realize that I didn’t have to live like this anymore. It was time for a new way. Somehow I gained the maturity to stand on my own two feet. Time to grow up and do what needs to be done. To be brave and move forward.
So take this love and take it down
And if you climb a mountain and you turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide brought me down
I faced my worst fears — being alone — being left — being on my own. I faced them and knew I would be okay if that worst thing came to pass. Because it wasn’t that the landslide brought me down. It was me — I brought MYSELF down. And I could bring myself back up, too.
I had to tell my fear that while it was valid, it was no longer in charge of me. This is what I told my fear:
“You can wear this cloak if you wish, you can climb up the mountain if that’s your desire, you can stay afraid if you think that’s best. But as for me, I will no longer bow down under the weight of depression you have placed upon me.”
Crashing to the bottom was the best thing that could have happened, because from the bottom I could only go up. My hands are capable and my heart is no longer empty.
I am fulfilled in and of myself.
What does this song mean to you?