Each of us have probably seen a National Geographic expedition to the top of a snow capped mountain. I once had my own travels to the Matterhorn in Switzerland. At its base, it stands a mere 10,695 feet while at the peak, it stands 14,691 feet. By no means is it insignificant. The majesty and lure draws skiers and mountain climbers from around the world. I spent an awe-inspiring day skiing around the alpine slopes that surround Matterhorn. I was not prepared for the beauty, but I also was not prepared for the struggle I would endure to get down the mountaintop… alone with one other skier at the end of the day… to ski across the face of a glacier (the one over my right shoulder in the picture…). All I can say, is it was worth the effort. I could have stayed in the lodge, but at the end of the day, we set off on the gondola for one final run… a run from the top. The top of the ridge is also the border between France and Switzerland. Had I the time, I might have skied in two countries that day, but it was time to finish what we set off to do. And off we went.
There times in our life that we need to stop watching the action on television, and go on an adventure of our own. You can never start until you take the first step. You never know what will happen until you get back. I leave you with the following to ponder, as you dream about going on your next adventure.
In 1951, W. H. Murray wrote the following in The Scottish Himalaya Expedition:
When I said that nothing had been done I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money — booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets”:
Indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting o’er lost days.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
— Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, from Faust in 1835