According to Wikipedia, a piton is a metal spike that is driven into a crack or seam in the climbing surface with a climbing hammer, and which acts as an anchor to either protect the climber against the consequences of a fall or to assist progress and aid climbing.
I’ve hiked some steep trails and summited a mountain, but never in conditions that required the use of pitons. I hope I never will, however, if I ever am in a situation where a piton will keep me from free falling down a steep rock face or over a precipice, I will be deeply grateful for those metal spikes driven deep into the crack.
A piton must hold fast, allowing the climber to fall only so far.
A piton becomes a marker for progress made.
A piton is the place from which further progress begins.
A mountain face is not the only place where we suddenly find ourselves in need of an anchor to keep us from falling. Every one of us can fall into old habits, and tumble into long-held stories that are no longer true, or perhaps never were. None of us can make it on our own, and we all need those who will serve as our pitons. Those trusted few with whom we scale the mountains and precipitous cliffs to become our most wholehearted and authentic selves.