Saturday, August 1, 2009

No Retreat, Baby... No Surrender

Stuff's gettin' better. Stuff's gettin' better all the time.
~The Postman

Undaunted is one of my very favorite words. Say it aloud and it sounds just like what it means. It can't be murmured. It has to come out with force. defines it: adjective
1. undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort: undaunted by failure.
2. undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear; intrepid: Although outnumbered, he was undaunted.

This word has been part of my daily meditative litany of affirmation for a couple of months now, but never more so than for the past couple of weeks. Lately, my path has felt fairly treacherous and uncertain. But. I am undaunted. I refuse to give in. I will not give up. Foolhardy, you say? Mayhap so, but who has ever found the magnificent view by turning around and heading back down the path from whence they came?

I'm reminded of a recent trek up to the ice caves on Big Four Mountain. Timothy, Shelli and I wandered up there last week, just a day after I'd bunged my knee pretty good on a river rock. I was sore and limping. It was a hot day, upper 80's. A couple of times they'd ask, "Are you sure you want to do this? Are you okay?" Yes. I was determined. Given my limp, my footing was unsure and I stumbled a couple of times, causing some fairly extreme pain in my knee. Did I curse? You know it! But I kept going.
The Man who with undaunted toils,
sails unknown seas to unknown soils,
with various wonders feasts his Sight:
What stranger wonders does he write?

~Benjamin Franklin

It was worth the pain and effort. Coming over the final crest, we gazed upon a rock strewn field. Just where the rocks gave way to the rise of the mountain, the snow field began. The snow gets undercut by the water flowing down the mountain and creates these spooky, otherworldly, thoroughly impressive ice caves. The wind blowing down across the snow field and through the caves creates a temperature drop that feels akin to standing in a walk-in freezer. It felt fabulous after the hot hike! And the view... ahhh, the view! Well, as I've written in the past, this is where the gods come to play.
Well, we made a promise we swore we'd always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender
Like soldiers in the winter's night with a vow to defend
No retreat, baby, no surrender

~No Surrender, Bruce Springsteen

Undaunted. There's no question that it helps to have friends (comrades) helping along the path. There were a couple of spots that Timothy helped me over by lending a strong arm to cling to. I could say that he's done that over time both literally and figuratively. My constant readers will know what Timothy's friendship means to me and some of what we've been through together. That I've been blessed to witness (and hopefully even help) his own journey is nothing short of amazing to me. Point is, just because you might be an undaunted soul (and I hope you are!), just because you might be intrepid, doesn't mean you don't occasionally need a helping hand. Take hold... the hand is there for a reason.

This one's for you Timothy. No way I'd have made it so gracefully down any path over the past couple of years without you in my life! And I'm so glad you've found someone who sees the beauty in your soul as much as I do... no retreat, baby, no surrender... we are intrepid.

~No Surrender, Bruce Springsteen

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