Beyond the Path of Mere Existence

Written By: Tamara Hill

February 1, 2017

As I look at the peak towering high above me, I know it will be a tough summit. I know the path is steep and the miles numerous. Obstacles will pave the way. Water will flow over the trail and the path may meander up a rock wall. Danger lurks unseen in the deep wilderness as cougars and black bears call this home. I will get tired, thirsty, and my backpack will get heavy. Yet, knowing all this, I must say as Dr. Parker says, “It is always too soon to quit”.
The trail begins. Although the top is the goal, I must never rush. There is much to learn and much to see on the journey to the highest peak. Wildflowers fill the air with sweet scents and quiet bubbling streams overflow the trail. The first mile seems easy as I walk over the gentle slopes and gaze upon the sun rays reflecting off the early morning dew. The aroma of pine leaves permeates my senses. I hear the soft chirp of the native bird colony. The rat-tat-tat of the woodpecker’s plight. I march on. The trail steepens. Water rushing down the mountain creates an icy waterfall I must cross. Slippery rocks on the edge of the precipice, the journey has just begun and surely Dr. Parker is correct, “It is always too soon to quit”.
The internal rush of adrenaline pushes me to conquer my fears and move toward my goals. I reach inside for courage, strength, and determination as the trail ahead looks daunting. A slippery wall of stone begs me to give up, to turn back, to choose the easier path of mere existence. I cannot turn back for I know I have one chance at life. One chance to soar above the clouds. My dreams will not come to me but I must chase my dreams. My legs burn each step I take, my heart pounds in my ears as I pull myself up and over the rock wall. The peak is in sight. I am almost there but know my struggle will continue as the climb to the top will only get more difficult. Regardless, I dig deeper. I ignore the pain and focus on the view from the top. I keep pushing myself onward, toward the mountain top because as Dr. Parker would say, “It is always too soon to quit”.
Dreams are not achieved without struggle. Sometimes each step is painful or it seems easier to modify your dreams because the top seems impossibly high. The journey seems like it will take too long or the task too daunting. Until the summit is won. It’s this moment, when a dream fills your heart, your soul. A quick moment of triumph, glory, and achievement. Reflecting back, knowing the pain you endured, the moments of fear and doubt you overcame and now understanding the strength living inside one’s self.
This is why we dream. We dream to achieve but beyond the reward of achieving is the character dreaming a dream builds inside.
This is why Dr. Parker was correct in saying, “It is always too soon to quit”.