Steep Mountain Quotes

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Journey’s end In western lands beneath the Sun The flowers may rise in Spring, The trees may bud, the waters run, The merry finches sing. Or there maybe 'tis cloudless night, And swaying branches bear The Elven-stars as jewels white Amid their branching hair. Though here at journey's end I lie In darkness buried deep, Beyond all towers strong and high, Beyond all mountains steep, Above all shadows rides the Sun And Stars for ever dwell: I will not say the Day is done, Nor bid the Stars farewell.J.
J.R.R. Tolkien
Though here at journey's end I lie In darkness buried deep, Beyond all towers strong and high, Beyond all mountains steep, Above all shadows rides the Sun And Stars for ever dwell: I will not say the Day is done, Nor bid the Stars farewell.
J.R.R. Tolkien
Our life is like a land journey, too even and easy and dull over long distances across the plains, too hard and painful up the steep grades; but, on the summits of the mountain, you have a magnificent view--and feel exalted--and your eyes are full of happy tears--and you want to sing--and wish you had wings! And then--you can't stay there, but must continue your journey--you begin climbing down the other side, so busy with your footholds that your summit experience is forgotten.
Lloyd C. Douglas (The Robe)
I wonder if it's like this for mountain climbers, he thought. You climb bigger and bigger mountains and you know that one day one of them is going to be just that bit too steep. But you go on doing it, because it’s so-o good when you breathe the air up there. And you know you'll die falling.
Terry Pratchett (Going Postal (Discworld, #33; Moist von Lipwig, #1))
If you choose to believe me, good. Now I will tell you how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made. There is a precipice between two steep mountains: the city is over the void, bound to the two crests with ropes and chains and catwalks. You walk on the little wooden ties, careful not to set your foot in the open spaces, or you cling to the hempen strands. Below there is nothing for hundreds and hundreds of feet: a few clouds glide past; farther down you can glimpse the chasm's bed. This is the foundation of the city: a net which serves as passage and as support. All the rest, instead of rising up, is hung below: rope ladders, hammocks, houses made like sacks, clothes hangers, terraces like gondolas, skins of water, gas jets, spits, baskets on strings, dumb-waiters, showers, trapezes and rings for children's games, cable cars, chandeliers, pots with trailing plants. Suspended over the abyss, the life of Octavia's inhabitants is less uncertain than in other cities. They know the net will only last so long.
Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities)
Let this grisly beginning be none other to you than is to wayfarers a rugged and steep mountain.
Giovanni Boccaccio (The Decameron)
She, who had descended with such joy and pain, had begun her upward climb—upward, with her baby, on the steep, steep side of the mountain.
James Baldwin (Go Tell It on the Mountain)
Though here at journey's end I lie in darkness buried deep, beyond all towers strong and high, beyond all mountains steep, above all shadows rides the Sun and Stars for ever dwell: I will not say the Day is done, nor bid the Stars farewell.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
Time is that which God uses to separate the idle from the industrious. For time is a mountain and upon seeing its steep incline, the idle will lie down among the lilies of the field and hope that someone passes by with a pitcher of lemonade. What the worthy endeavor requires is planning, effort, attentiveness, and the willingness to clean up.
Amor Towles (The Lincoln Highway)
I love this place; I love mountains and big skies and forests. And the weather is still supremely beautiful even though the lower peaks are powdered with fresh snow. But Heavens! What sun. It never has an ending. I am basking at this minute - half past four - too hot without a hat, & the sky is that transparent blue only to be seen in autumn - the forest trees steeped in light.
Katherine Mansfield (The Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield: Volume 1: 1903-1917)
No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief, More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring. Comforter, where, where is your comforting? Mary, mother of us, where is your relief? My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief- woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing — Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked 'No ling- ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief'. O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap May who ne'er hung there. Nor does long our small Durance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep, Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.
Gerard Manley Hopkins (The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins)
Wild steep mountains floating in a haze of cloud...a sea of green trees swallowing the hills and valleys, and curling around the trails and rivers, with the wind in the leaves as its tide.
Sharyn McCrumb (The Songcatcher (Ballad, #6))
Appalachia was Appalachia, regardless of boundaries someone had set an eternity ago. A land of breathtaking beauty, of steep hills and rolling mountains
John Grisham (Gray Mountain)
A voice said, "Climb." And he said, "How shall I climb?the mountains are so steep that I cannot climb." The voice said, "Climb or die." He said, "But how?I see no way up those steep ascents. This that is asked is too hard for me." The voice said, "Climb, or perish, soul and body of theemind and spirit of thee. There is no second chance for any son of man. Climb or die." Then he remembered that he had read in the books of the bravest climbers on the hills of the earth that sometimes they were aware of the presence of a Companion on the mountains who was not one of the earthly party of climbers. And he rememberd a word in the Book of heartened him,for it told him that he was created to walk in precarious places, not on the easy levels of life.
Amy Carmichael (A Very Present Help: Life Messages of Great Christans)
Oh land of farms and green hills mild Once formed by giants rough and wild With massive paws they gripped and tore With one great rip they formed the shore Where heavy boots left prints so deep Blue lakes remain 'tween summits steep The giants fought beneath our skies And from their bones our mountains rise
Shannon Hale (Palace of Stone (Princess Academy, #2))
You can't blame anyone else... You have to make your own choices and live every agonizing day with the consequences of those choices. He knew this. That's why he deserted us like we deserted those civilians. He saw the road ahead, a steep, treacherous mountain road. We'd all have to hike that road, each of us dragging the boulder of what we'd done behind us. He couldn't do it. He couldn't shoulder the weight." - Philip Adler
Max Brooks (World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War)
Our lives aren't even about doing real things most of the time. We think and talk about people we've never met, pretend to visit places we've never actually been, to discuss things that are just names as though they were as real as rocks or animals or something. Information Age. Hell it's the Imagination Age. We're living in our own minds. No, she decided as the plane began its steep descent, really we're living in other people's minds.
Tad Williams (Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland, #3))
The traveler who's just climbed a steep mountain sits down at the top, and finds perfect pleasure in resting. Would he be as happy, if he were forced to do nothing but rest?
Stendhal (The Red and the Black)
When you turn off onto whatever secondary road you need to take, and you’re following its twists and turns back into the mountains, and the ground is steep to either side of you, opening every now and then on a meadow, or an old house, you think, 'Here, there are secret places.
John Langan (The Fisherman)
It is often said that if you have a room with a view, you will feel peaceful and relaxed, but if the room is a caravan hurtling down a steep and twisted road, and the view is an eerie mountain range racing backward away from you, while chilly mountain winds sting your face and toss dust into your eyes, then you will not feel one bit of peace and relaxation.
Lemony Snicket (The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10))
Maybe dream chasing is like climbing a mountain. You know, finding the trail, stepping onto it. At first you're energetic and it's easy. Then you trip over a root, face a huge boulder, or a steep incline. So you stand up after the fall, find your way around the boulder, and trudge up the vertical. Eventually, you're on top of the mountain with an expansive view of the world." ~ Michael Stlis in "A Stop in the Park
Peggy Morehouse Strack (A Stop in the Park)
It was hard to get lost in Missoula even if you wanted to. Wherever you were, all you had to do to get your bearings was look around and find the big letter M, embossed in white halfway up the steep shoulder of grass that reared on the south bank of the Clark Fork River. Though only a hill, it was called Mount Sentinel and if you had the legs and lungs and inclination to hike the trail that zigzagged up it, you could stand by the M and gaze out across the town at a travel-brochure shot of forest and mountain dusted from early fall with snow.
Nicholas Evans (The Divide)
There is a sacred horror about everything grand. It is easy to admire mediocrity and hills; but whatever is too lofty, a genius as well as a mountain, an assembly as well as a masterpiece, seen too near, is appalling. Every summit seems an exaggeration. Climbing wearies. The steepnesses take away one's breath; we slip on the slopes, we are hurt by the sharp points which are its beauty; the foaming torrents betray the precipices, clouds hide the mountain tops; mounting is full of terror, as well as a fall. Hence, there is more dismay than admiration. People have a strange feeling of aversion to anything grand. They see abysses, they do not see sublimity; they see the monster, they do not see the prodigy.
Victor Hugo (Ninety-Three)
Freedom's like a mountain. Impossibly high, impossibly steep.
Myke Cole (The Queen of Crows (The Sacred Throne, #2))
It is important to keep one foot in front of the other. As a woman, you have to fake it until you make it. There will be a lot of twists and turns. There will mountains that are steep and seem to be too high to climb. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Giving up isn’t an option. Never-ending obstacles pile up one after another. The process seems to repeat itself over and over again without a solution. You’ve been here before. Where does it end? When does it end? Things seem to stay the same or they become worse than before. How many times do you have to compromise? You cannot continue to carry everyone’s burdens and their side effects as if everything is just fine
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
But walking causes absorption. Walking interminably, taking in through your pores the height of the mountains when you are confronting them at length, breathing in the shape of the hills for hours at a time during a slow descent. The body becomes steeped in the earth it treads. And thus, gradually, it stops being in the landscape: it becomes the landscape. That doesn’t have to mean dissolution, as if the walker were fading away to become a mere inflection, a footnote. It’s more a flashing moment: sudden flame, time catching fire. And here, the feeling of eternity is all at once that vibration between presences. Eternity, here, in a spark.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
Egypt is a fertile valley of rich river soil, low-lying, warm, monotonous, a slow-flowing river, and beyond the limitless desert. Greece is a country of sparse fertility and keen, cold winters, all hills and mountains sharp cut in stone, where strong men must work hard to get their bread. And while Egypt submitted and suffered and turned her face toward death, Greece resisted and rejoiced and turned full-face to life. For somewhere among those steep stone mountains, in little sheltered valleys where the great hills were ramparts to defend, and men could have security for peace and happy living, something quite new came into the world: the joy of life found expression. Perhaps it was born there, among the shepherds pasturing their flocks where the wild flowers made a glory on the hillside; among the sailors on a sapphire sea washing enchanted islands purple in a luminous air.
Edith Hamilton (The Greek Way)
At least, I thought in those early days, once I cast a spell, I would not have to learn it again. But even that was not true. However often I had used an herb before, each cutting had its own character. One rose would give up its secrets if it were ground, another must be pressed, a third steeped. Each spell was a mountain to be climbed anew. All I could carry with me from last time was the knowledge that it could be done.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
And so one more to the wandering road. Beyond Blackheath the highway began a steep and curvaceous descent towards Lithgow, where it skirted along hem of the mountains...
Bill Bryson (Notes from a Small Island)
The way to true knowledge does not go through soft grass covered with flowers. To find it, a person must climb steep mountains.
Josh Ruskin
It is only the traveller who has just scaled a steep mountain and sits down on the summit who finds a perfect pleasure in resting. Would he be happy if he had to rest all the time?
Was that the way God was with His children? Did He drive them through difficulties, up steep mountains, because He cared and was leading them to better pastures?
Jody Hedlund (To Tame a Cowboy (Colorado Cowboys, #3))
Suddenly we were in Hawaii—tropical mountains running down to sparkling seas, sweeping bays, flawless beaches guarded by listing palms, little green and rocky islands standing off the headlands. From time to time we drove through sunny canefields, overlooked by the steep, blue eminence of the Great Dividing Range.
Bill Bryson (In a Sunburned Country)
Season late, day late, sun just down, and the sky Cold gunmetal but with a wash of live rose, and she, From water the color of sky except where Her motion has fractured it to shivering splinters of silver, Rises. Stands on the raw grass. Against The new-curdling night of spruces, nakedness Glimmers and, at bosom and flank, drips With fluent silver. The man, Some ten strokes out, but now hanging Motionless in the gunmetal water, feet Cold with the coldness of depth, all History dissolving from him, is Nothing but an eye. Is an eye only. Sees The body that is marked by his use, and Time's, Rise, and in the abrupt and unsustaining element of air, Sway, lean, grapple the pond-bank. Sees How, with that posture of female awkwardness that is, And is the stab of, suddenly perceived grace, breasts bulge down in The pure curve of their weight and buttocks Moon up and, in swelling unity, Are silver and glimmer. Then The body is erect, she is herself, whatever Self she may be, and with an end of the towel grasped in each hand, Slowly draws it back and forth across back and buttocks, but With face lifted toward the high sky, where The over-wash of rose color now fails. Fails, though no star Yet throbs there. The towel, forgotten, Does not move now. The gaze Remains fixed on the sky. The body, Profiled against the darkness of spruces, seems To draw to itself, and condense in its whiteness, what light In the sky yet lingers or, from The metallic and abstract severity of water, lifts. The body, With the towel now trailing loose from one hand, is A white stalk from which the face flowers gravely toward the high sky. This moment is non-sequential and absolute, and admits Of no definition, for it Subsumes all other, and sequential, moments, by which Definition might be possible. The woman, Face yet raised, wraps, With a motion as though standing in sleep, The towel about her body, under her breasts, and, Holding it there hieratic as lost Egypt and erect, Moves up the path that, stair-steep, winds Into the clamber and tangle of growth. Beyond The lattice of dusk-dripping leaves, whiteness Dimly glimmers, goes. Glimmers and is gone, and the man, Suspended in his darkling medium, stares Upward where, though not visible, he knows She moves, and in his heart he cries out that, if only He had such strength, he would put his hand forth And maintain it over her to guard, in all Her out-goings and in-comings, from whatever Inclemency of sky or slur of the world's weather Might ever be. In his heart he cries out. Above Height of the spruce-night and heave of the far mountain, he sees The first star pulse into being. It gleams there. I do not know what promise it makes him.
Robert Penn Warren
Broke the tassels from the birch-trees, Steeped the foliage in honey, Made a lye from milk and ashes, Made of these a strong decoction, Mixed it with the fat and marrow Of the reindeer of the mountains, Made a soap of magic virtue,
Elias Lönnrot (Kalevala: The Epic Poem of Finland Complete)
Typewriters and computers were not designed with steep mountain slopes in mind. On one occasion last autumn I did carry my typewriter into the garden, and I am still trying to extricate a couple of acorns from under the keys, while the roller seems permanently stained from some fine yellow pollen dust from the deodar trees. But armed with pencils and paper, I can lie on the grass and write for hours. Provided there are a couple of cheese-and-tomato sandwiches within easy reach.
Ruskin Bond (Landour Days: A Writer's Journal)
This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky, rushing by like a torrent down a steep mountain.
James McCloone Ltd (My Mother Wore a Yellow Dress: Memories of an Irish Childhood)
Going through the pass, which demands a sort of swastika maneuvering in order to debouch free and clear on the high plateau, I had the impression of wading through phantom seas of blood; the earth was not parched and convulsed in the usual Greek way but bleached and twisted as must have been the mangled, death-stilled limbs of the slain who were left to rot and give their blood here in the merciless sun to the roots of the wild olives which cling to the steep mountain slope with vulturous claws.
Henry Miller (The Colossus of Maroussi (Second Edition) (New Directions Paperbook))
The Mountain My students look at me expectantly. I explain to them that the life of art is a life of endless labor. Their expressions hardly change; they need to know a little more about endless labor. So I tell them the story of Sisyphus, how he was doomed to push a rock up a mountain, knowing nothing would come of this effort but that he would repeat it indefinitely. I tell them there is joy in this, in the artist’s life, that one eludes judgment, and as I speak I am secretly pushing a rock myself, slyly pushing it up the steep face of a mountain. Why do I lie to these children? They aren’t listening, they aren’t deceived, their fingers tapping at the wooden desks— So I retract the myth; I tell them it occurs in hell, and that the artist lies because he is obsessed with attainment, that he perceives the summit as that place where he will live forever, a place about to be transformed by his burden: with every breath, I am standing at the top of the mountain. Both my hands are free. And the rock has added height to the mountain.
Louise Glück (The Triumph of Achilles)
The mountains that enfold the vale With walls of granite, steep and high, Invite the fearless foot to scale Their stairway toward the sky. The restless, deep, dividing sea That flows and foams from shore to shore, Calls to its sunburned chivalry, "Push out, set sail, explore!" And all the bars at which we fret, That seem to prison and control, Are but the doors of daring, set Ajar before the soul. Say not, "Too poor," but freely give; Sigh not, "Too weak," but boldly try, You never can begin to live Until you dare to die.
Henry Van Dyke
If possible, I’d like to avoid that kind of literary burnout. My idea of literature is something more spontaneous, more cohesive, something with a kind of natural, positive vitality. For me, writing a novel is like climbing a steep mountain, struggling up the face of the cliff,
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
Lunar tourism and exploration could become popular recreational activities as people discover the wonders of an alien landscape. Given the low gravity, hikers would be able to trek over long distances without tiring. Mountain climbers would be able to rappel down steep mountainsides with little effort.
Michio Kaku (The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny BeyondEarth)
I crawled over the mountain of death, Watching the corpses roll down like the stones. Searching for the light which everyone always spoke of. I fought the wolves and also the death, and knocked the door, which already had a thousand handprints, soaked with blood. The door opened finally and I saw the light, which hit me in the heart and pushed me down the steep. I fell into the never ending pit, watching others crawl up the mountain in the search of light.
Akshay Vasu
From the old and pleasantly situated village of Mayenfeld, a footpath winds through green and shady meadows to the foot of the mountains, which on this side look down from their stern and lofty heights upon the valley below. The land grows gradually wilder as the path ascends, and the climber has not gone far before he begins to inhale the fragrance of the short grass and sturdy mountain plants, for the way is steep and leads directly up to the summits above.
Johanna Spyri (Heidi)
In western lands beneath the Sun the flowers may rise in Spring, the trees may bud, the waters run, the merry finches sing. Or there maybe 'tis cloudless night and swaying beeches bear the Elven-stars as jewels white amid their branching hair. Though here at journey's end I lie in darkness buried deep, beyond all towers strong and high, beyond all mountains steep, above all shadows rides the Sun and Stars for ever dwell: I will not say the Day is done, nor bid the Stars farewell.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
The following spring was a time of calving. Great icebergs calved from the vast glaciers which stretched down to our fjords from distant mountains. The heifers and cows of Kaupangen gave birth to over one hundred calves that spring. Most survived. Gudrod, the master shepherd, had seventy-five new lambkins skipping after their mothers. Ten sets of lamb twins were born in the city that year. Bitches had pups suckling at their breasts. The mountain goats that stood watch over the fjord, indifferently chewing on the wild grasses between the rocks, had kids following them on their steep paths. The residents of the city, too, gave birth. Twenty-one new healthy babies were born within thirty days of the spring equinox; boys and girls with thick blonde, brown, black, or red hair; others with smooth bald heads. Olaf, my third father, my king, had a son, stillborn. Olaf wept. Kenna wept. I wept as the boy was buried inside the casket with his mother in our graveyard by the church.
Jason Born (The Norseman (The Norseman Chronicles, #1))
A seeker has heard that the wisest guru in all of India lives atop India’s highest mountain. So the seeker treks over hill and Delhi until he reaches the fabled mountain. It’s incredibly steep, and more than once he slips and falls. By the time he reaches the top, he is full of cuts and bruises, but there is the guru, sitting cross-legged in front of his cave. "O, wise guru,” the seeker says, “I have come to you to ask what the secret of life is.” “Ah, yes, the secret of life,” the guru says. “The secret of life is a teacup.” “A teacup? I came all the way up here to find the meaning of life, and you tell me it’s a teacup!” The guru shrugs. “So maybe it isn’t a teacup.
Thomas Cathcart (Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar . . .: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes)
She thought, sometimes, that, after all, this was the happiest time of her life—the honeymoon, as people called it. To taste the full sweetness of it, it would have been necessary doubtless to fly to those lands with sonorous names where the days after marriage are full of laziness most suave. In post chaises behind blue silken curtains to ride slowly up steep road, listening to the song of the postilion re-echoed by the mountains, along with the bells of goats and the muffled sound of a waterfall; at sunset on the shores of gulfs to breathe in the perfume of lemon trees; then in the evening on the villa-terraces above, hand in hand to look at the stars, making plans for the future. It seemed to her that certain places on earth must bring happiness, as a plant peculiar to the soil, and that cannot thrive elsewhere. Why could not she lean over balconies in Swiss chalets, or enshrine her melancholy in a Scotch cottage, with a husband dressed in a black velvet coat with long tails, and thin shoes, a pointed hat and frills? Perhaps she would have liked to confide all these things to someone. But how tell an undefinable uneasiness, variable as the clouds, unstable as the winds? Words failed her—the opportunity, the courage.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
The mountain is steep but the view from the top is priceless...
Pie Castillo
Just like a mountain goat climbing very steep and dangerous land to lick salt from the rocks, man also should take high risks to get what he wants!
Mehmet Murat ildan
So yes, the making of strawberry preserves is time-consuming, old-fashioned, and unnecessary. Then why, you might ask, do I bother to do it? • • • I do it because it’s time-consuming. Whoever said that something worthwhile shouldn’t take time? It took months for the Pilgrims to sail to Plymouth Rock. It took years for George Washington to win the Revolutionary War. And it took decades for the pioneers to conquer the West. Time is that which God uses to separate the idle from the industrious. For time is a mountain and upon seeing its steep incline, the idle will lie down among the lilies of the field and hope that someone passes by with a pitcher of lemonade. What the worthy endeavor requires is planning, effort, attentiveness, and the willingness to clean up.
Amor Towles (The Lincoln Highway)
We are travelers on a cosmic journey — stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. But the expressions of life are ephemeral, momentary, transient. Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, once said, This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds. To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance. A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky, Rushing by like a torrent down a steep mountain. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity. If we share with caring, lightheartedness, and love, we will create abundance and joy for each other. And then this moment will have been worthwhile.
Deepak Chopra (The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams)
Start with a girl whose blood has been steeped in Korea for generations, imprinted with Confucianism and shamanism and war. Extract her from the mountains. Plant her in wheat fields between the Red River and the Mississippi. Baptize her. Indoctrinate her. Tell her who she is. Tell her what is real. See what happens. Witness a love affair with freaks, a fascination with hermaphrodites and conjoined twins, a fixation on Pisces and pairs of opposites. Trace a dream that won't die: a vision of an old woman slumped on a bench, her spirit sitting straight out of the body, joined to the corpse at the waist.
Jane Jeong Trenka
Then we looked back and saw where the clear line of Dracula’s castle cut the sky; for we were so deep under the hill whereon it was set that the angle of perspective of the Carpathian mountains was far below it. We saw it in all its grandeur, perched a thousand feet on the summit of a sheer precipice, and with seemingly a great gap between it and the steep of the adjacent mountain on any side. There was something wild and uncanny about the place. We could hear the distant howling of wolves. They were far off, but the sound, even though coming muffled through the deadening snowfall, was full of terror.
Bram Stoker
Everything I’ve previously attempted in my life was child’s play compared to this. The pathway I’m walking is not just riddled with all manner of uncertainty; it’s also excruciatingly difficult to follow through! How do I know this is the right path for me, when it’s been costing me every ounce of willpower just to stay on track? How do I tell what my purpose is?’ ‘THIS is how you know it, Mario. This moment right here!’ Amanita had told him. ‘If the path you are walking feels back-breaking and steep, know you are climbing the Mountain of Purpose. The more you sacrifice on your journey, the more valuable its end reward.
Louise Blackwick (The Underworld Rhapsody)
Life's a mountain, Volga. Nasty, steep, covered in ice. Try to move it, you'll go nowhere. Try to help someone else, you'll fall right down with them. Focus on your own feet, and you just might make it up and over.
Pierce Brown (Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga, #4))
The Creator sat upon the throne, thinking. Behind him stretched the illimitable continent of heaven, steeped in a glory of light and color; before him rose the black night of Space, like a wall. His mighty bulk towered rugged and mountain-like into the zenith, and His divine head blazed there like a distant sun. At His feet stood three colossal figures, diminished to extinction, almost, by contrast -- archangels -- their heads level with His ankle-bone. When the Creator had finished thinking, He said, "I have thought. Behold!" He lifted His hand, and from it burst a fountain-spray of fire, a million stupendous suns, which clove the blackness and soared, away and away and away, diminishing in magnitude and intensity as they pierced the far frontiers of Space, until at last they were but as diamond nail heads sparkling under the domed vast roof of the universe.
Mark Twain (Letters from the Earth)
The weeks up there were almost the most beautiful in my life. I breathed the pure, clear air, drank the icy water from streams and watched the herds of goats grazing on the steep slopes, guarded by dark-haired, musing goatherds. At times I heard storms resound through the valley and saw mists and clouds at unusually close quarters. In the clefts of rocks I observed the small, delicate, bright coloured flowers and the many wonderful mosses, and on clear days I used to like to walk uphill for an hour until I could see the clearly outlined distant peaks of high mountains, their blue silhouettes, and white, sparkling snow fields across the other side of the hill.
Hermann Hesse (Gertrude)
Don't condemn the mountain because its trails are steep. It's also a valuable and enjoyable part of climbing to struggle up a mountain step by step…If you're going to climb, make it a tall mountain. The view will be so much better.
Sōsuke Natsukawa (The Cat Who Saved Books)
The great shapes of the hills, embrowned and glowing with the molten hues of autumn, are all about him: the towering summits, wild and lonely, full of joy and strangeness and their haunting premonitions of oncoming winter soar above him, the gulches, gorges, gaps, and wild ravines, fall sheer and suddenly away with a dizzy terrifying steepness, and all the time the great train toils slowly down from the mountain summits with the sinuous turnings of an enormous snake.
Thomas Wolfe (Of Time and The River)
Everyone in the room knew about leveraged buyouts, often called LBOs. In an LBO, a small group of senior executives, usually working with a Wall Street partner, proposes to buy its company from public shareholders, using massive amounts of borrowed money. Critics of this procedure called it stealing the company from its owners and fretted that the growing mountain of corporate debt was hindering America’s ability to compete abroad. Everyone knew LBOs meant deep cuts in research and every other imaginable budget, all sacrificed to pay off debt. Proponents insisted that companies forced to meet steep debt payments grew lean and mean. On one thing they all agreed: The executives who launched LBOs got filthy rich.
Bryan Burrough (Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco)
Are you kidding? That’s exactly why I hate him! He knew that this was just the first step of a long war and we were going to need men like him to help win it. Fucking coward. Remember what I said about being beholden to your conscience? You can’t blame anyone else, not the plan’s architect, not your commanding officer, no one but yourself. You have to make your own choices and live every agonizing day with the consequences of those choices. He knew this. That’s why he deserted us like we deserted those civilians. He saw the road ahead, a steep, treacherous mountain road. We’d all have to hike that road, each of us dragging the boulder of what we’d done behind us. He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t shoulder the weight.
Max Brooks (World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War)
Then he says, “I once read a story about three brothers who washed up on an island in Hawaii. A myth. An old one. I read it when I was a kid, so I probably don’t have the story exactly right, but it goes something like this. Three brothers went out fishing and got caught in a storm. They drifted on the ocean for a long time until they washed up on the shore of an uninhabited island. It was a beautiful island with coconuts growing there and tons of fruit on the trees, and a big, high mountain in the middle. The night they got there, a god appeared in their dreams and said, ‘A little farther down the shore, you will find three big, round boulders. I want each of you to push his boulder as far as he likes. The place you stop pushing your boulder is where you will live. The higher you go, the more of the world you will be able to see from your home. It’s entirely up to you how far you want to push your boulder.’” The young man takes a drink of water and pauses for a moment. Mari looks bored, but she is clearly listening. “Okay so far?” he asks. Mari nods. “Want to hear the rest? If you’re not interested, I can stop.” “If it’s not too long.” “No, it’s not too long. It’s a pretty simple story.” He takes another sip of water and continues with his story. “So the three brothers found three boulders on the shore just as the god had said they would. And they started pushing them along as the god told them to. Now these were huge, heavy boulders, so rolling them was hard, and pushing them up an incline took an enormous effort. The youngest brother quit first. He said, ‘Brothers, this place is good enough for me. It’s close to the shore, and I can catch fish. It has everything I need to go on living. I don’t mind if I can’t see that much of the world from here.’ His two elder brothers pressed on, but when they were midway up the mountain, the second brother quit. He said, ‘Brother, this place is good enough for me. There is plenty of fruit here. It has everything I need to go on living. I don’t mind if I can’t see that much of the world from here.’ The eldest brother continued walking up the mountain. The trail grew increasingly narrow and steep, but he did not quit. He had great powers of perseverance, and he wanted to see as much of the world as he possibly could, so he kept rolling the boulder with all his might. He went on for months, hardly eating or drinking, until he had rolled the boulder to the very peak of the high mountain. There he stopped and surveyed the world. Now he could see more of the world than anyone. This was the place he would live—where no grass grew, where no birds flew. For water, he could only lick the ice and frost. For food, he could only gnaw on moss. Be he had no regrets, because now he could look out over the whole world. And so, even today, his great, round boulder is perched on the peak of that mountain on an island in Hawaii. That’s how the story goes.
Haruki Murakami (After Dark)
To go down and up two hands-and-knee climbing ravines and then out into the moonlight and the long, too-steep shoulder of mountain that you climbed one foot up to the other, one foot after the other, one stride at a time, leaning forward against the grade and the altitude, dead tired and gun weary, single file in the moonlight across the slope, on up and to the top where it was easy, the country spread in the moonlight, then up and down and on, through the small hills, tired but now in sight of the fires and
Ernest Hemingway (Green Hills of Africa)
Joy is not the satisfied contemplation of an accomplished result, the emotion of victory, the satisfaction of having succeeded. It is the sign of an energy that is deftly deployed, it is a free affirmation: everything comes easy. Joy is an activity: executing with ease something difficult that has taken time to master, asserting the faculties of the mind and the body. Joys of thought when it finds and discovers, joys of the body when it achieves without effort. That is why joy, unlike pleasure, increases with repetition, and is enriched. When you are walking, joy is a basso continuo. Locally, of course, you may run into effort and difficulty. You will also find immediate moments of contentment: a proud gaze backwards to contemplate the long steep plunge of the slope behind you. Those satisfactions, though, too often present an opportunity to reintroduce quantities, scores, figures (which track? how long? what altitude?). And walking becomes a competition. That is why expeditions in high mountain country (conquering peaks, each one a challenge) are always slightly impure: because they give rise to narcissistic gratification. What dominates in walking, away from ostentation and showing off, is the simple joy of feeling your body in the most primitively natural activity.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
And why did I think that the notorious and often fatal obstacles that the pioneers faced—mountain passes strewn with lava rock, hellacious winds and dust storms, rattlesnakes, and descents so steep that the wagons could only be lowered by ropes—would miraculously vanish from the trail for me?
Rinker Buck (The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey)
She had only to endure and trust in God. She knew that the big house, the house of pride where the white folks lived, would come down; it was written in the Word of God. They, who walked so proudly now, had not fashioned for themselves or their children so sure a foundation as was hers. They walked on the edge of a steep place and their eyes were sightless—God would cause them to rush down, as the herd of swine had once rushed down, into the sea. For all that they were so beautiful, and took their ease, she knew them, and she pitied them, who would have no covering in the great day of His wrath.
James Baldwin (Go Tell It on the Mountain)
Have you ever watched a storm approaching on a hot summer’s day? It’s especially spectacular in the mountains. At first there’s nothing to see, but you feel a sort of weariness that tells you something is in the air. Then you hear thunder - just a rumble here and there- you can’t quite tell where it is coming from. All of a sudden, the mountains seem strangely near. There isn't a breath of wind, yet dense clouds pile up in the sky. And now the mountains have almost vanished behind a wall of haze. Clouds rush in from all sides, but still there’s no wind. There’s more thunder now, and everything around looks eir and menacing. You wait and wait. And then, suddenly, it erupts. At first it is almost a release. The storm descends into the valley. There’s thunder and lightning everywhere. The rain clatters down in huge drops. The storm is trapped in the narrow cleft of the valley and thunderclaps echo and reverberate off the steep mountain sides. The wind buffets you from every angle. And when the storm finally moves away, leaving in its place a clear, still, starlit night, you can hardly remember where those thunderclouds were, let alone which thunderclap belonged to which flash of lightning.
E. H. Gombrich (A Little History of the World)
The Congregating of Stars They often meet in mountain lakes, No matter how remote, no matter how deep Down and far they must stream to arrive, Navigating between the steep, vertical piles Of broken limestone and chert, through shattered Trees and dry bushes bent low by winter, Across ravines cut by roaring avalanches Of boulders and ripping ice. Silently, the stars have assembled On the surface of this lost lake tonight, Arranged themselves to match the patterns They maintain in the highest spheres Of the surrounding sky. And they continue on, passing through The smooth, black countenance of the lake, Through that mirror of themselves, down through The icy waters to touch the perfect bottom Stillness of the invisible life and death existing In the nether of those depths. Sky-bound- yet touching every needle In the torn and sturdy forest, every stone, Sharp, cracked along the ragged shore- the stars Appear the same as in ancient human ages On the currents of the old seas and the darkened Trails of desert dunes, Orion’s belt the same As it shone in Galileo’s eyes, Polaris certain above The sails of every mariner’s voyage. An echoing Light from the Magi’s star, that beacon, might even Be shining on this lake tonight, unrecognized. The stars are congregating, perhaps in celebration, passing through their own names and legends, through fogs, airs, and thunders, the vapors of winter frost and summer pollens. They are ancestors of transfiguration, intimate with all the eyes of the night. What can they know?
Pattiann Rogers (Quickening Fields (Penguin Poets))
There are seven windows in the Queen's bedroom in the Citadel that is the center of the City that is on the lake island called the Hub in the middle of the world. Two of the seven windows face the tower stones and are dark; two overlook inner courtyards; two face the complex lanes that wind between the high, blank-faced mansions of the Protectorate; and the seventh, facing the steep Street of the Birdsellers and, beyond, a crack in the ring of the mountains across the lake, is always filled at night with stars. When wind speaks in the mountains, it whispers in this window, and makes the fine brown bed hangings dance.
John Crowley (The Deep)
The undulant road winds across hills, down into hollows where mist slithers through the darkness like a procession of spirits proceeding toward their fate. The mountains, worn low by millennia of weather, offer no steep palisades, only rolling slopes that suggest that the landscape was inspired by the female form.
Dean Koontz (Gentle Is the Angel of Death (Nameless: Season Two #2))
If people are relocated or, rather, transplanted from a steep, mountainous place to a plain, they also realize, but too late, that their home-place has been part of themselves - that they have identified with features of the place. And the way of life in the tiny locality, the density of social relations, has formed their persons. Again, they are not the same as they were.
Arne Næss
Deep in the mountains of Akishina where Granny and Grandpa live, fragments of night linger even at midday. As we wound our way up steep hairpin bends, I gazed out the window at the swaying trees, at the undersides of the leaves so swollen they looked as though they would burst. That was where the pitch-black darkness was. I always felt an urge to reach out to that blackness, the color of outer space.
Sayaka Murata (Earthlings)
One day she would build her own church, and God would see her, too. They continued traveling along the Arges River, which sometimes was narrow and violently churning, sometimes as wide and smooth as glass. It snaked through the land until reaching the mountains. Everything was a green so deep it was nearly black. Dark gray stones and boulders jutted out of the steeply rising slopes, and beneath them the Arges wandered. It was cooler here than in Tirgoviste, a chill that never quite burned away clinging to the rocks and moss. The looming mountains were so steep that the sun shone directly on the traveling company for only a few hours each day before shadows reclaimed the passes. It smelled of pine and wood and rot—but even the rot smelled rich and healthful, unlike the hidden rot of Tirgoviste. Late
Kiersten White (And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1))
It became in his imagination his impossible, lifelong task, his hard trial, like that of a man he had read about somewhere, whose curse it was to push a boulder up a steep hill, only to have the giant who guarded the hill roll the boulder down again—and so on, forever, throughout eternity; he was still out there, that hapless man, somewhere at the other end of the earth, pushing his boulder up the hill.
James Baldwin (Go Tell It on the Mountain)
At the end of the world there lies a mountain so high it makes you dizzy even to think about it. It is as black as soot, as smooth as silk, terribly steep, and where there should be a bottom, there are only clouds. But high up on the peak stands the Hobgoblin's House, and it looks like this." And Snufkin drew a house in the sand. "Hasn't it got any windows?" asked Sniff. "No," said Snufkin, "and it hasn't got a door either, because the Hobgoblin always goes home by air riding on a black panther. He goes out every night and collects rubies in his hat." "What did you say?" asked Sniff, with his eyes popping out of his head. "Rubies! Where does he get them from?" "The Hobgoblin can change himself into anything he likes," Snufkin answered, "and then he can crawl under the ground and even down onto the sea bed where buried treasure lies.
Tove Jansson (Finn Family Moomintroll (The Moomins, #3))
Sometimes strength is grasping on to a jagged trail on the steep side of the mountain, with icy rain on your shoulders and wind on your back. Sometimes strength is continuing to push upward against the incline in pursuit of the highest peak. It’s continuing the climb against heavy winds, as all of the traveled miles are wearing at your knees. Sometimes strength is waking up and choosing to breathe another day. Sometimes strength is getting out of bed.
Morgan Harper Nichols (All Along You Were Blooming: Thoughts for Boundless Living (Morgan Harper Nichols Poetry Collection))
What can I be thinking of? Just imagine my not having presented myself to you even yet! But as a matter of fact I do not want to tell you my name out loud; it is a romantic one, utterly inappropriate to the typically modern environment in which we now stand. Ah, if we were only on the steep side of some mountain with the moon like a great lamp above us, or by the shore of some wild ocean, there would be some glamour in proclaiming my identity in the silence of the night, or in the midst of lightning and thunder as a hurricane swept the seas! But here in a third-floor suite of the Royal Palace Hotel, surrounded by telephones and electric lights, and standing by a window overlooking the Champs Elysees-> it would be positively anachronistic!" He took a card out of his pocket and drew near the little writing desk. "Allow me, Princess, to slip my card into this drawer, left open on purpose, it would seem," and while the princess uttered a little cry she could not repress, he did just that. "And now, Princess," he went on, compelling her to retreat before him as he moved to the door of the anteroom opening on to the corridor, "you are too well bred, I am sure, not to wish to conduct your visitor to the door of your suite." His tone altered abruptly, and in a deep imperious voice that made the princess quake he ordered her: "And now, not a word, not a cry, not a movement until I am outside, or I will kill you!
Marcel Allain (Fantômas (Fantômas, #1))
Before us lay a green sloping land full of forests and woods, with here and there steep hills, crowned with clumps of trees or with farmhouses, the blank gable end to the road. There was everywhere a bewildering mass of fruit blossom- apple, plum, pear, cherry; and as we drove by I could see the green grass under the trees spangled with the fallen petals. In and out amongst these green hills of what they call here the 'Mittel Land' ran the road, losing itself as it swept round the grassy curve, or was shut out by the straggling ends of pine woods, which here and there ran down the hillside like tongues of flame. The road was rugged, but still we seemed to fly over it with a feverish haste. I could not understand then what the haste meant, but the driver was evidently bent on losing no time in reaching Borgo Prund. I was told that this road is in summertime excellent, but that it had not been put in order after the winter snows. In this respect it is different from the general run of roads in the Carpathians, for it is an old tradition that they are not to be kept in too good order. Of old the Hospadors would not repair them, lest the Turks should think that they were preparing to bring in foreign troops, and so hasten the war which was always really at loading point. Beyond the green swelling hills of the Mittel Land rose mighty slopes of forest up to the lofty steeps of the Carpathians themselves. Right and left of us they towered, with the afternoon sun falling full upon them and bringing out all the glorious colors of this beautiful range, deep blue and purple in the shadows of the peaks, green and brown where grass and rock mingled, and an endless perspective of jagged rock and pointed crags, till these were themselves lost in the distance, where the snowy peaks rose grandly. Here and there seemed mighty rifts in the mountains, through which, as the sun began to sink, we saw now and again the white gleam of falling water.
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
I don’t know if you’ve spent time in the Catskills. From a distance, say, the parking lot of the old Caldor’s (which became an Ames that became a Stop ‘N’ Shop) in Huguenot, they’ve always made me think of a herd of giant animals, all standing grazing on the horizon. Up close, when you’re driving among them with the early morning light breaking over their round peaks, they seem incredibly present, more real than real, these huge solid heaps of rock that wear their trees like mile-long scarves. You glance at them, trying to keep your eyes on the road, which is already pretty busy with people driving up for a weekend getaway, and somehow you wouldn’t be surprised if the mountain closest to you were to cast off its trees in one titanic shrug and start to lumber away, a vast, unimaginable beast. When you turn off onto whatever secondary road you need to take, and you’re following its twists and turns back into the mountains, and the ground is steep to either side of you, opening every now and then on a meadow, or an old house, you think, Here, there are secret places. Well,
John Langan (The Fisherman)
The air was steeped with the heady fragrance of roses, as if the entire hall had been rinsed with expensive perfume. "Good Lord!" she exclaimed, stopping short at the sight of massive bunches of flowers being brought in from a cart outside. Mountains of white roses, some of them tightly furled buds, some in glorious full bloom. Two footmen had been recruited to assist the driver of the cart, and the three of them kept going outside to fetch bouquet after bouquet wrapped in stiff white lace paper. "Fifteen dozen of them," Marcus said brusquely. "I doubt there's a single white rose left in London." Aline could not believe how fast her heart was beating. Slowly she moved forward and drew a single rose from one of the bouquets. Cupping the delicate bowl of the blossom with her fingers, she bent her head to inhale its lavish perfume. Its petals were a cool brush of silk against her cheek. "There's something else," Marcus said. Following his gaze, Aline saw the butler directing yet another footman to pry open a huge crate filled with brick-sized parcels wrapped in brown paper. "What are they, Salter?" "With your permission, my lady, I will find out." The elderly butler unwrapped one of the parcels with great care. He spread the waxed brown paper open to reveal a damply fragrant loaf of gingerbread, its spice adding a pungent note to the smell of the roses. Aline put her hand over her mouth to contain a bubbling laugh, while some undefinable emotion caused her entire body to tremble. The offering worried her terribly, and at the same time, she was insanely pleased by the extravagance of it. "Gingerbread?" Marcus asked incredulously. "Why the hell would McKenna send you an entire crate of gingerbread?" "Because I like it," came Aline's breathless reply. "How do you know this is from McKenna?" Marcus gave her a speaking look, as if only an imbecile would suppose otherwise. Fumbling a little with the envelope, Aline extracted a folded sheet of paper. It was covered in a bold scrawl, the penmanship serviceable and without flourishes. No miles of level desert, no jagged mountain heights, no sea of endless blue Neither words nor tears, nor silent fears will keep me from coming back to you. There was no signature... none was necessary. Aline closed her eyes, while her nose stung and hot tears squeezed from beneath her lashes. She pressed her lips briefly to the letter, not caring what Marcus thought. "It's a poem," she said unsteadily. "A terrible one." It was the loveliest thing she had ever read. She held it to her cheek, then used her sleeve to blot her eyes. "Let me see it." Immediately Aline tucked the poem into her bodice. "No, it's private." She swallowed against the tightness of her throat, willing the surge of unruly emotion to recede. "McKenna," she whispered, "how you devastate me.
Lisa Kleypas (Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0))
The terrain is as rocky as Pennsylvania, and the steepness of the climbs is unparalleled. Imagine a mountain range sculpted using beach sand, with mountains as tall and steep as the sand will allow. Wind and time would erode and soften the sculpture. The mountains would melt down; the peaks would become less pointed and the slopes more gradual. A week-old sculpture might be representative of the shape of the majority of the Appalachian Mountain Range. The White Mountains would be like the sculpture the moment it was completed, with the sharpness and steepness still intact. No other mountains on the AT are this austere. Only the Great Smoky Mountains come close; they may be equated to one- or two-day-old mountains of sand.
David Miller (AWOL on the Appalachian Trail)
Life sometimes is like tossing a coin in the air calling heads or tails, but it doesn’t matter what side it lands on; life goes on. It is hard when you’ve lost the will to fight because you’ve been fighting for so long. You are smothered by the pain. Mentally, you are drained. Physically, you are weak. Emotionally, you are weighed down. Spiritually, you do not have one tiny mustard seed of faith. The common denominator is that other people’s problems have clouded your mind with all of their negativity. You cannot feel anything; you are numb. You do not have the energy to surrender, and you choose not to escape because you feel safe when you are closed in. As you move throughout the day, you do just enough to get by. Your mindset has changed from giving it your all to—well, something is better than nothing. You move in slow motion like a zombie, and there isn’t any color, just black and white, with every now and then a shade of gray. You’ve shut everyone out and crawled back into the rabbit hole. Life passes you by as you feel like you cannot go on. You look around for help; for someone to take the pain away and to share your suffering, but no one is there. You feel alone, you drift away when you glance ahead and see that there are more uphill battles ahead of you. You do not have the option to turn around because all of the roads are blocked. You stand exactly where you are without making a step. You try to think of something, but you are emotionally bankrupt. Where do you go from here? You do not have a clue. Standing still isn’t helping because you’ve welcomed unwanted visitors; voices are in your head, asking, “What are you waiting for? Take the leap. Jump.” They go on to say, “You’ve had enough. Your burdens are too heavy.” You walk towards the cliff; you turn your head and look at the steep hill towards the mountain. The view isn’t helping; not only do you have to climb the steep hill, but you have to climb up the mountain too. You take a step; rocks and dust fall off the cliff. You stumble and you move forward. The voices in your head call you a coward. You are beginning to second-guess yourself because you want to throw in the towel. You close your eyes; a tear falls and travels to your chin. As your eyes are closed the Great Divine’s voice is louder; yet, calmer, soothing; and you feel peace instantly. Your mind feels light, and your body feels balanced. The Great Divine whispers gently and softly in your ear: “Fallen Warrior, I know you have given everything you’ve got, and you feel like you have nothing left to give. Fallen Warrior, I know it’s been a while since you smiled. Fallen Warrior, I see that you are hurting, and I feel your pain. Fallen Warrior, this is not the end. This is the start of your new beginning. Fallen Warrior, do not doubt My or your abilities; you have more going for you than you have going against you. Fallen Warrior, keep moving, you have what it takes; perseverance is your middle name. Fallen Warrior, you are not the victim! You are the victor! You step back because you know why you are here. You know why you are alive. Sometimes you have to be your own Shero. As a fallen warrior, you are human; and you have your moments. There are days when you have more ups than downs, and some days you have more downs than ups. I most definitely can relate. I was floating through life, but I had to change my mindset. During my worst days, I felt horrible, and when I started to think negatively I felt like I was dishonoring myself. I felt sick, I felt afraid, fear began to control my every move. I felt like demons were trying to break in and take over my life.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
…we encourage you to trust your coping plan over the long haul. It is useful to acknowledge your small and daily successes, such as facing things you would typically avoid. There will likely be daily examples of slipups, too, but, similar to looking at a garden, we encourage you to focus on the flowers as much, if not more so, than you do the weeds. As an aside, both of us have taken up bike riding in the past few years. In our appreciation of the multiday, grand stage races in Europe, such as the Tour de France, we have seen a metaphor that helps to illustrate the goal of coping with ADHD. These multiple stage bike races last from 3 or 4 days on up to 3 weeks. Different days are spent climbing steep mountain roads, traversing long flat stages of over a hundred miles that end in all out sprints to the finish line, and individual time trials where each rider goes out alone and covers the distance as quickly as possible, known as “the race of truth.” The grand champion of a multiday race, however, is the rider whose cumulative time for all the stages is the fastest. That is, if you ride well enough, day-in and day-out, you will be a champion even though you may not be the first rider to cross the finish line on any single day’s race. Similarly, managing ADHD is an endurance sport. You need not cope perfectly all day, every day. The goal is to make progress, cope well enough, handle setbacks without giving up, and over time you will recognize your victory. Just keep pedaling.
J. Russell Ramsay (The Adult ADHD Tool Kit)
When the full moon was out the other night, it created one of the most spectacular scenes that I have seen in the Alps. The high glaciers of the Mont Blanc range were glowing an eerie bright blue-white, and they looked like huge ghost ships in the dark ocean of sky, sailing amongst black mountain valleys. There were no clouds, and the moon was a huge and perfect disc tracking across the sky, shining on different parts of the glaciers through the night. Looking up, I saw the black silhouette of the mid-altitude mountains below the ethereal shining high-mountain terrain, which created a weird vision: the ghostly glaciers floating, and appearing separate, contrasting sharply with the dark valleys beneath. The Aiguille Verte especially, being so steep and isolated, seemed almost like a holographic mast with sails, plowing into the rolling waves, chasing after the Mont Blanc summit with its billowing spinnaker...
Steve Baldwin
------The Aqyn's Song------- I have come from the edge of the world. I have come from the lungs of the wind, With a thing I have seen so awesome Even Dzambul could not sing it. With a fear in my heart so sharp It will cut the strongest of metals. In the ancient tales it is told In a time that is older than Qorqyt, Who took from the wood of Syrghaj The first qobyz, and the first song-- It is told that a land far distant Is the place of the Kirghiz Light. In a place where words are unknown, And eyes shine like candles at night, And the face of God is a presence Behind the mask of the sky-- At the tall black rock in the desert, In the time of the final days. If the place were not so distant, If words were known, and spoken, Then the God might be a Gold ikon, Or a page in a paper book. But It comes as the Kirghiz Light-- There is no other way to know It. The roar of Its voice is deafness, The flash of Its light is blindness. The floor of the desert rumbles, And Its face cannot be borne. And a man cannot be the same, After seeing the Kirghiz Light. For I tell you that I have seen It In a place which is older than darkness, Where even Allah cannot reach. As you see, my beard is an ice-field, I walk with a stick to support me, But this light must change us to children. And now I cannot walk far, For a baby must learn to walk. And my words are reaching your ears As the meaningless wounds of a baby. For the Kirghiz Light took my eyes, Now I sense all Earth like a baby. It is north, for a six-day ride, Through the steep and death-gray canyons, Then across the stony desert To the mountain whose peak is a white dzurt. And if you have passed without danger, The place of the black rock will find you. But if you would not be born, Then stay with your warm red fire, And stay with your wife, in your tent, And the Light will never find you, And your heart will grow heavy with age, And your eyes will shut only to sleep.
Thomas Pynchon
Oft had I heard of Lucy Gray, And when I crossed the Wild, I chanced to see at break of day The solitary Child. No Mate, no comrade Lucy knew; She dwelt on a wide Moor, The sweetest Thing that ever grew Beside a human door! You yet may spy the Fawn at play, The Hare upon the Green; But the sweet face of Lucy Gray Will never more be seen. 'To-night will be a stormy night, You to the Town must go, And take a lantern, Child, to light Your Mother thro' the snow.' 'That, Father! will I gladly do; 'Tis scarcely afternoon -- The Minster-clock has just struck two, And yonder is the Moon.' At this the Father raised his hook And snapped a faggot-band; He plied his work, and Lucy took The lantern in her hand. Not blither is the mountain roe, With many a wanton stroke Her feet disperse the powd'ry snow That rises up like smoke. The storm came on before its time, She wandered up and down, And many a hill did Lucy climb But never reached the Town. The wretched Parents all that night Went shouting far and wide; But there was neither sound nor sight To serve them for a guide. At day-break on a hill they stood That overlooked the Moor; And thence they saw the Bridge of Wood A furlong from their door. And now they homeward turned, and cried 'In Heaven we all shall meet!' When in the snow the Mother spied The print of Lucy's feet. Then downward from the steep hill's edge They tracked the footmarks small; And through the broken hawthorn-hedge, And by the long stone-wall; And then an open field they crossed, The marks were still the same; They tracked them on, nor ever lost, And to the Bridge they came. They followed from the snowy bank The footmarks, one by one, Into the middle of the plank, And further there were none. Yet some maintain that to this day She is a living Child, That you may see sweet Lucy Gray Upon the lonesome Wild. O'er rough and smooth she trips along, And never looks behind; And sings a solitary song That whistles in the wind.
William Wordsworth (AmblesideOnline Poetry, Year 4, Terms 1, 2, and 3: Tennyson, Dickinson, and Wordsworth)
Lucy Gray Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray, And when I cross'd the Wild, I chanc'd to see at break of day The solitary Child. No Mate, no comrade Lucy knew; She dwelt on a wild Moor, The sweetest Thing that ever grew Beside a human door! You yet may spy the Fawn at play, The Hare upon the Green; But the sweet face of Lucy Gray Will never more be seen. "To-night will be a stormy night, You to the Town must go, And take a lantern, Child, to light Your Mother thro' the snow." "That, Father! will I gladly do; 'Tis scarcely afternoon— The Minster-clock has just struck two, And yonder is the Moon." At this the Father rais'd his hook And snapp'd a faggot-band; He plied his work, and Lucy took The lantern in her hand. Not blither is the mountain roe, With many a wanton stroke Her feet disperse, the powd'ry snow That rises up like smoke. The storm came on before its time, She wander'd up and down, And many a hill did Lucy climb But never reach'd the Town. The wretched Parents all that night Went shouting far and wide; But there was neither sound nor sight To serve them for a guide. At day-break on a hill they stood That overlook'd the Moor; And thence they saw the Bridge of Wood A furlong from their door. And now they homeward turn'd, and cry'd "In Heaven we all shall meet!" When in the snow the Mother spied The print of Lucy's feet. Then downward from the steep hill's edge They track'd the footmarks small; And through the broken hawthorn-hedge, And by the long stone-wall; And then an open field they cross'd, The marks were still the same; They track'd them on, nor ever lost, And to the Bridge they came. They follow'd from the snowy bank The footmarks, one by one, Into the middle of the plank, And further there were none. Yet some maintain that to this day She is a living Child, That you may see sweet Lucy Gray Upon the lonesome Wild. O'er rough and smooth she trips along, And never looks behind; And sings a solitary song That whistles in the wind.
William Wordsworth (The Works of William Wordsworth)
Don't worry about me. I'll heal. Come on-" "Where are we going?" Luce asked. "The sun's about to rise," Daniel said, taking a small leather satchel from Phil. "And I figure you must be starving." Luce hadn't realized it, but she was. "I thought we could steal a moment before anyone else shows up." There was a sheer, narrow path from the plateau that led to a small ledge down from where they'd landed. They picked their way down the jagged mountain, hand in hand, and when it was too steep for walking, Daniel coasted, always flying very low to the ground, his wings tucked close to his sides. "Don't want to alarm the hikers," he explained. "Most places on Earth, people aren't willing to let themselves see miracles, angels. If they catch a glimpse of us flying by, they convince themselves their eyes were playing tricks on them. But in a place like this-" "People can see miracles," Luce finished for him. "They want to." "Right. And seeing leads to wonder." "And wonder leads to-" "Trouble." Daniel laughed a little. Luce couldn't help grinning, enjoying that at least for a little while, Daniel was her miracle alone.
Lauren Kate (Rapture (Fallen, #4))
That which is unnamed was first,” it said. “But I am named, flesh queen. Remember.” Its pupils thinned. “The cold one on the ship. She was your kin.” Glorian looked at the other skull. “She fell to my flame. So will this land. We will finish the scouring, for we are the teeth that harrow and turn. The mountain is the forge and smith, and we, its iron offspring—come to avenge the first, the forebear, he who sleeps beneath.” Every warrior should know fear, Glorian Brightcry. Without it, courage is an empty boast. “You confess,” Glorian said, “that you slew the blood of the Saint.” Her voice kept breaking. “Do you then declare war on Inys?” Fyredel—the wyrm—let out a rattle. A score of complex scales and muscles shifted in its face. “When your days grow long and hot,” he said, “when the sun in the North never sets, we shall come.” On both sides of the Strondway, those who had not fled were rooted to the spot, fixated on Glorian. She realized what they must be thinking. If she died childless, the eternal vine was at its end. What she did next could define how they saw the House of Berethnet for centuries to come. Start forging your armour, Glorian. You will need it. She looked down once more at her parents’ remains, the bones the wyrms had dumped here like a spoil of war. In her memory, her father laughed and drew her close. He would never laugh again. Never smile. Her mother would never tell her she loved her, or how to calm her dreams. And where there had been fear, there was anger. “If you—If you dare to turn your fire on Inys,” Glorian bit out, “then I will do as my ancestor did to the Nameless One.” She forced herself to lift her chin in defiance. “I will drive you back with sword and spear, with bow and lance!” Shaking, she heaved for air. “I am the voice, the body of Inys. My stomach is its strength—my heart, its shield— and if you think I will submit to you because I am small and young, you are wrong.” Sweat was running down her back. She had never been so afraid in her life. “I am not afraid,” she said. At this, the wyrm unfurled its wings to their full breadth. From tip to hooked tip, they were as wide as two longships facing each other. People scrambled out of their shadow. “So be it, Shieldheart.” It steeped the word in mockery. “Treasure your darkness, for the fire comes. Until then, a taste of our flame, to light your city through the winter. Heed my words.
Samantha Shannon (A Day of Fallen Night (The Roots of Chaos, #0))
And then she caught the song. She fell upon it and music poured from the fiddle’s hollow, bright and liquid like fire out of the heart of the earth. Pierre-Jean drew back and stood mesmerized. The room around Fin stirred as every ear bent to the ring of heartsong. It rushed through Fin and spread to the outermost and tiniest capillary reaches of her body. Her flesh sang. The hairs of her arms and neck roused and stood. She sped the bow across the strings. Her fingers danced on the fingerboard quick as fat raindrops. Every man in the room that night would later swear that there was a wind within it. They would tell their children and lovers that a hurricane had filled the room, toppled chairs, driven papers and sheets before it and blew not merely around them but through them, taking fears, grudges, malice, and contempt with it, sending them spiraling out into the night where they vanished among the stars like embers rising from a bonfire. And though the spirited cry of the fiddle’s song blew through others and around the room and everything in it, Fin sat at the heart of it. It poured into her. It found room in the closets and hollow places of her soul to settle and root. It planted seeds: courage, resolve, steadfastness. Fin gulped it in, seized it, held it fast. She needed it, had thirsted for it all her days. She saw the road ahead of her, and though she didn’t understand it or comprehend her part in it, she knew that she needed the ancient and reckless power of a holy song to endure it. She didn’t let the music loose. It buckled and swept and still she clung to it, defined it in notes and rhythm, channeled it like a river bound between mountain steeps. And a thing happened then so precious and strange that Fin would ever after remember it only in the formless manner of dreams. The song turned and spoke her name—her true name, intoned in a language of mysteries. Not her earthly name, but a secret word, defining her alone among all created things. The writhing song spoke it, and for the first time, she knew herself. She knew what it was to be separated out, held apart from every other breathing creature, and known. Though she’d never heard it before and wouldn’t recall it after, every stitch of her soul shook in the passage of the word, shuddered in the wake of it, and mourned as the sound sped away. In an instant, it was over. The song ended with the dissonant pluck of a broken string.
A.S. Peterson (Fiddler's Green (Fin's Revolution, #2))
At the end of the ridge we leaned on our ice axes and looked up. Above us was the legendary Hillary Step, the forty-foot ice wall that formed one of the mountain’s most formidable hurdles. Cowering from the wind, I tried to make out a route up it. This ice face was to be our final and hardest test. The outcome would determine whether we would join those few who have touched that hallowed ground above. If so, I would become only the thirty-first British climber ever to have done this. The ranks were small. I started up cautiously. It was a long way to come to fall here. Points in. Ice axe in. Test them. Then move. It was slow progress, but it was progress. And steadily I moved up the ice. I had climbed steep pitches like this so many times before, but never twenty-nine thousand feet up in the sky. At this height, in this rarefied thin air, and with 40 mph of wind trying to blow us off the ice, I was struggling. Again. I stopped and tried to steady myself. Then I made that old familiar mistake--I looked down. Beneath me, either side of the ridge, the mountain dropped away into abysses. Idiot, Bear. I tried to refocus on only what was in front of me and above. Up. Keep moving up. So I kept climbing. It was the climb of my life, and nothing was going to stop me.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
This will result in your being witnesses to them. (Luke 21:13) Life is a steep climb, and it is always encouraging to have those ahead of us “call back” and cheerfully summon us to higher ground. We all climb together, so we should help one another. The mountain climbing of life is serious, but glorious, business; it takes strength and steadiness to reach the summit. And as our view becomes better as we gain altitude, and as we discover things of importance, we should “call back” our encouragement to others. If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back— It will cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track; And if, perhaps, Faith’s light is dim, because the oil is low, Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go. Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm; Call back, and say He kept you when the forest’s roots were torn; That, when the heavens thunder and the earthquake shook the hill, He bore you up and held you where the lofty air was still. O friend, call back, and tell me for I cannot see your face; They say it glows with triumph, and your feet sprint in the race; But there are mists between us and my spirit eyes are dim, And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him. But if you’ll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry, And if you’ll say He saw you through the night’s sin-darkened sky— If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back— It will cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.
Lettie B. Cowman (Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings)
Monday, January 26 Be Strong and Courageous “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them! For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” DEUTERONOMY 31:6 NLT In The Horse and His Boy, one of the books in the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis, we see a beautiful picture of how the Lord gives us strength and courage to do His will. The boy, Shasta, runs away from home. Along the way he meets up with a talking horse from Narnia and a nobly born girl, Aravis, with her talking horse. They decide to take their horses to Narnia, but their plans fall apart when they have to go through the Calormene capitol city, Tashbaan. Several times as they travel, they are chased by lions, harassed by cats, and generally persecuted by various members of the cat family. Finally, on one particularly dark night, Shasta crosses over a mountain pass alone. In the dark and fog Shasta senses rather than sees a creature walking along beside him. And he’s terrified. Later, when he meets Aslan, Shasta learns that all the cats were Aslan, guiding them, pushing them, and yes, terrifying them into doing what they needed to do. Aslan was also his protector as he crossed the steep and dangerous mountain pass in the dark. Shasta is angry until he realizes that Aslan did everything out of love, even hurting Aravis when her pride was keeping them from the mission they’d been given. Father, thank You for the beautiful picture of Your protection and courage to those who are Yours.
Various (Daily Wisdom for Women 2015 Devotional Collection - January (None))
Here’s another thing—I can’t get any cell phone reception here. I should let my family know I’m here safely. More or less.” “The pines are too tall, the mountains too steep. Use the land line—and don’t worry about the long distance cost. You have to be in touch with your family. Who is your family?” “Just an older married sister in Colorado Springs. She and her husband put up a collective and huge fuss about this—as if I was going into the Peace Corps or something. I should’ve listened.” “There will be a lot of people around here glad you didn’t,” he said. “I’m stubborn that way.” He smiled appreciatively. It made her instantly think, Don’t get any ideas, buster. I’m married to someone. Just because he isn’t here, doesn’t mean it’s over. However, there was something about a guy—at least six foot two and two hundred pounds of rock-hard muscle—holding a newborn with gentle deftness and skill. Then she saw him lower his lips to the baby’s head and inhale her scent, and some of the ice around Mel’s broken heart started to melt. “I’m going into Eureka today for supplies,” he said. “Need anything?” “Disposable diapers. Newborn. And since you know everyone, could you ask around if anyone can help out with the baby? Either full-time, part-time, whatever. It would be better for her to be in a family home than here at Doc’s with me.” “Besides,” he said, “you want to get out of here.” “I’ll help out with the baby for a couple of days, but I don’t want to stretch it out. I can’t stay here, Jack.” “I’ll ask around,” he said. And decided he might just forget to do that. Because, yes, she could. *
Robyn Carr (Virgin River (Virgin River, #1))
That New Year I was invited to stay with one of my old school buddies, Sam Sykes, at his house on the far northwestern coast of Sutherland, in Scotland. It is as wild and rugged a place as anywhere on earth, and I love it there. It also happens to boast one of my favorite mountains in the world, Ben Loyal, a pinnacle of rock and steep heather that overlooks a spectacular estuary. So I did not need much encouraging to go up to Sam’s and climb. This time up there, I was to meet the lady who would change my life forever; and I was woefully ill-prepared for the occasion. I headed up north primarily to train and climb. Sam told me he had some other friends coming up for New Year. I would like them, he assured me. Great. As long as they don’t distract me from training, I thought to myself. I had never felt more distant from falling in love. I was a man on a mission. Everest was only two months away. Falling in love was way off my radar. One of Sam’s friends was this young girl called Shara. As gentle as a lamb, beautiful and funny--and she seemed to look at me so warmly. There was something about this girl. She just seemed to shine in all she did. And I was totally smitten, at once. All I seemed to want to do was hang out with her, drink tea, chat, and go for nice walks. I tried to fight the feeling by loading up my backpack with rocks and heavy books, then going off climbing on my own. But all I could think about was this beautiful blond girl who laughed in the most adorable way at how ridiculous it was to carry Shakespeare up a mountain. I could sense already that this was going to be a massive distraction, but somehow, at the same time, nothing else seemed to matter. I found myself wanting to be with this girl all the time.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
Among many cases of this sort, I have been especially impressed with one that concerned a colleague of mine in Zürich. He was a man somewhat older than myself whom I saw from time to time, and who always teased me on these occasions about my interest in dream-interpretation. I met him one day in the street, and he called out to me: "How are things going? Are you still interpreting dreams? By the way, I've had another idiotic dream. Does it mean something too?" He had dreamed as follows: "I am climbing a high mountain over steep, snow covered slopes. I mount higher and higher—it is marvelous weather. The higher I climb, the better I feel. I think: 'If only I could go on climbing like this for ever!' When I reach the summit, my happiness and elation are so strong that I feel I could mount right up into space. And I discover that I actually can do this. I go on climbing on empty air. I awake in a real ecstasy." When he had told me his dream, I said: "My dear man, I know you can't give up mountaineering, but let me implore you not to go alone from now on. When you go, take two guides, and you must promise on your word of honour to follow their directions." "Incorrigible!" he replied laughing, and said goodbye. I never saw him again. Two months later came the first blow. When out alone, he was buried by an avalanche, but was dug out in the nick of time by a military patrol which happened to come along. Three months after this the end came. He went on a climb accompanied by a younger friend, but without guides. An alpinist standing below saw him literally step out into the air as he was letting himself down a rock wall. He fell on to the head of his friend, who was waiting beneath him, and both were dashed to pieces far below. That was ecstasis in the full meaning of the word.
C.G. Jung (Modern Man in Search of a Soul)
On the third day, I asked if she would like to climb Ben Loyal with me--with anyone else who fancied coming along. None of the guys wanted to join me and I ended up with a group of four girls, including Shara. We spent two hours crossing the marshy moon grass to reach the foot of the mountain before starting up the steep slope toward the summit ridge. It was fairly sheer, but essentially we were still going the “easy” way. Within two hundred feet, half of the girls were looking pretty beat. I figured that having slogged across the marsh for so long, we should definitely do some of the climb. After all, that was the fun bit. They all agreed and we continued up steadily. Before the slope eases at the top, though, there is a section where the heather becomes quite exposed. It is only a short, few hundred feet, and I wrongly figured the girls would enjoy a safe, steep scramble that didn’t require any ropes. Plus the views were amazing out to sea. But things didn’t quite go to plan. The first panicked whimper seemed to set off a cacophony of cheeps, as, one by one, the girls began to voice their fears. It is funny how quickly everyone can go from being totally fine to totally not-fine, very fast, once one person starts to panic. Then the tears started. Nightmare. I ended up literally having to shadow the three girls who were worst struck by this fear, one by one down the slope. I had to stand behind them, hands on top of their hands, and help them move one step at a time, planting their feet exactly where I did, to shield them from the drop. The point of this story is that the only girl who was supercool through the whole mission was Shara, who steadily plodded up, and then just as steadily plodded down beside me, as I tried to help the others. Now I was really smitten. A cool head under pressure is truly irresistible to me, and if I hadn’t been totally besotted before, then our mountain experience together tipped the balance. I had a sneaking feeling that I had met the girl of my dreams.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
While Mum was a busy working mother, helping my father in his constituency duties and beyond, Lara became my surrogate mum. She fed me almost every supper I ate--from when I was a baby up to about five years old. She changed my nappies, she taught me to speak, then to walk (which, with so much attention from her, of course happened ridiculously early). She taught me how to get dressed and to brush my teeth. In essence, she got me to do all the things that either she had been too scared to do herself or that just simply intrigued her, such as eating raw bacon or riding a tricycle down a steep hill with no brakes. I was the best rag doll of a baby brother that she could have ever dreamt of. It is why we have always been so close. To her, I am still her little baby brother. And I love her for that. But--and this is the big but--growing up with Lara, there was never a moment’s peace. Even from day one, as a newborn babe in the hospital’s maternity ward, I was paraded around, shown off to anyone and everyone--I was my sister’s new “toy.” And it never stopped. It makes me smile now, but I am sure it is why in later life I craved the peace and solitude that mountains and the sea bring. I didn’t want to perform for anyone, I just wanted space to grow and find myself among all the madness. It took a while to understand where this love of the wild came from, but in truth it probably developed from the intimacy found with my father on the shores of Northern Ireland and the will to escape a loving but bossy elder sister. (God bless her!) I can joke about this nowadays with Lara, and through it all she still remains my closest ally and friend; but she is always the extrovert, wishing she could be on the stage or on the chat show couch, where I tend just to long for quiet times with my friends and family. In short, Lara would be much better at being famous than me. She sums it up well, I think: Until Bear was born I hated being the only child--I complained to Mum and Dad that I was lonely. It felt weird not having a brother or sister when all my friends had them. Bear’s arrival was so exciting (once I’d got over the disappointment of him being a boy, because I’d always wanted a sister!). But the moment I set eyes on him, crying his eyes out in his crib, I thought: That’s my baby. I’m going to look after him. I picked him up, he stopped crying, and from then until he got too big, I dragged him around everywhere.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
I look back now and can see how much my father also found his own freedom in the adventures we did together, whether it was galloping along a beach in the Isle of Wight with me behind him, or climbing on the steep hills and cliffs around the island’s coast. It was at times like these that I found a real intimacy with him. It was also where I learned to recognize that tightening sensation, deep in the pit of my stomach, as being a great thing to follow in life. Some call it fear. I remember the joy of climbing with him in the wintertime. It was always an adventure and often turned into much more than just a climb. Dad would determine that not only did we have to climb a sheer hundred-and-fifty-foot chalk cliff, but also that German paratroopers held the high ground. We therefore had to climb the cliff silently and unseen, and then grenade the German fire position once at the summit. In reality this meant lobbing clumps of manure toward a deserted bench on the cliff tops. Brilliant. What a great way to spend a wet and windy winter’s day when you are age eight (or twenty-eight, for that matter). I loved returning from the cliff climbs totally caked in mud, out of breath, having scared ourselves a little. I learned to love that feeling of the wind and rain blowing hard on my face. It made me feel like a man, when in reality I was a little boy. We also used to talk about Mount Everest, as we walked across the fields toward the cliffs. I loved to pretend that some of our climbs were on the summit face of Everest itself. We would move together cautiously across the white chalk faces, imagining they were really ice. I had this utter confidence that I could climb Everest if he were beside me. I had no idea what Everest would really involve but I loved the dream together. These were powerful, magical times. Bonding. Intimate. Fun. And I miss them a lot even today. How good it would feel to get the chance to do that with him just once more. I think that is why I find it often so emotional taking my own boys hiking or climbing nowadays. Mountains create powerful bonds between people. It is their great appeal to me. But it wasn’t just climbing. Dad and I would often go to the local stables and hire a couple of horses for a tenner and go jumping the breakwaters along the beach. Every time I fell off in the wet sand and was on the verge of bursting into tears, Dad would applaud me and say that I was slowly becoming a horseman. In other words, you can’t become a decent horseman until you fall off and get up again a good number of times. There’s life in a nutshell.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)