Success is stumbling

This seemed a fitting place to photgraph our fearless little Schipperke. Donner Memorial State Park, California, 2004

This seemed a fitting place to photograph our fearless little Schipperke.
Donner Memorial State Park, California, 2004

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Winston Churchill

One of my favorite places in California is the haunting Donner Memorial State Park near Truckee.  It’s beautiful country, but there’s an eerie stillness that lingers in memory of the tragic history of the Donner Party, for whom the park is named.  Even for the survivors who eventually reached their destination, life was anything but easy.  Yet they and other pioneers persisted in the face of one setback after another, and today we enjoy the fruits (literally and figuratively) of their efforts.

The park features a striking monument to all the trailblazers who ventured westward to settle in California.  Atop the tall stone memorial is a statue of a pioneer family, with the plaque pictured above at its base.  Though the engraved words feature archaic language, and bewildering line spacing and punctuation, the underlying tribute is clear.  It describes a strength of character to which we can all aspire.

As we embark on another year, I hope we will think of these words, which evoke traits that are powerful when linked: competence with kindness; bravery with benevolence.  Whatever we face in 2014, may the year find us indomitable, and unafraid.

One year ago today

Try again

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. mike c.

    I like this one. Which was the post on frugality and the joy of getting rid of stuff— and stuff— and more stuff.?”

    • There are probably a lot. Just use the search bar at right (under “looking for something?”) to find whatever you want.

  2. Good morning, Julia!
    I needed this, on this Monday morning, as I go, “stumbling from failure to failure” as it sometimes seems, trying to get enough calories into this cat. May I press on “with no loss of enthusiasm”!
    Blessings on your day!

    • Have you tried tuna? Or something else particularly aromatic?

  3. Love Alone

    Reblogged this on Love and Love Alone.

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