Mayme Kimes Favorite Quotes

When asked by a close friend of our parents many years ago, "Why do you climb mountains?", we found her reply to him along with these quotes in the draft of the letter to that person in Mayme's files:

Livingston said,
"No one can truly appreciate the charm of repose unless he has undergone severe exertion."

Mayme then continues in her own words, "I know of no more exciting place for severe exertion than climbing mountains, and no more delightful place in which to experience the charm of repose than a comfortable rock, or shady bank along a mountain trail. This pleasure of contrast is a constant companion in climbing mountains and in the camping that usually accompanies it.
The following quotation sums up an experience I've had many times in our mountain climbing:"

"From strenuous effort verging on extreme limits,
men and women seem to acquire a new power in themselves
which in its turn leads to some sort of total view of things;
as if the exhaustion of their bodies freed their spirits
from some clogging shackle of comfort,
and left them free to go wandering up.
There from the height attained they had a view of this planet
not easily granted to those who struggle perpetually below;
a view which they remembered when they came back."

She closes by saying, "This one, however, is my favorite, and expresses so beautifully why people climb mountains:" Signed, 'Mayme'

" those who have struggled with them
the mountains reveal beauties they will not disclose to those who make no effort.
And it is because they have so much to give
and give it so lavishly to those who will wrestle with them
that men love the mountains and go back to them again and again...
the mountains reserve their choicest gifts to those who stand upon their summits."
          -- Sir Francis Younghusband
               (Mount Everest--The Reconnaissance 1921)

"If you cannot understand that there is something in a man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won't see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy."
          --George Leigh Mallory, reflecting on the challenge of climbing Mount McKinley, the highest peak on the North American continent

"Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Natures peace flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drip off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature's sources never fail."
          -- John Muir

"Blossoms are scattered by the wind
and the wind cares nothing.
But the blossoms of the heart,
no wind can touch.
And when a friend has left us
for another country and is no more seen
her beloved presence still lives in memory."
          Yoshida Kenko
          1293-1350 A.D.

This inscription found in a book given by Mayme to Bill:

"Forever mine, my friend,
from June to Life's December;
Not Mine to have or hold,
But to pray for and remember.

Lovingly, Mayme."

Here is the quote discovered recently that Mayme had written down, who knows how long ago, but it made her family think it was written ABOUT her!

"Her love and devotion to us has been as warming as the sun and as constant as the stars.
Her enthusiasm for life has been a compelling wave, infectiously carried along those caught in its sparking bubbles.
The joy of her laughter will always float in the still evening air...
It was her conviction that her present journey would be a celebration of joy.
We know that we do not lose her but share her with the universe...
It was her conviction that her present journey would be a celebration of joy."

Another quote found in Mayme's handwriting ...

"Have you gazed on naked grandeur
where there's nothing else to gaze on,
set places and drop-curtain scenes galore.

Big mountains heaved to heaven,
which the blinding sunsets blazon,
Black canyons where the rapids rip & roar?

Have you swept the visioned valley
with the green stream streaking though it
Searched the vastness for a something you have lost?

Have you strung your soul to silence?
then for God's sake go and do it;
Hear the challenge, learn the lesson, pay the cost."

This also found in Mayme's pen:
(and it made her family think this could also be about her)

"You go from us into a new becoming;
We rejoice for you and wish you an easy journey out into the light.
The winds will speak to us of you,
The waters will mention your name;
Snow and rain and fog,
first light and last light,
all will remind us that you had a certain way of being that was dear to us.
You go back to the land you came from and on beyond.
We will watch for you from time to time.

From Mayme's typed papers:
(She had made numerous copies and sent to friends)

"I climb to live, for it has helped me find how much anguish my spirit can take
To conquer not the mountain, but myself.
To dare to do that which could kill me.
To say, "I can't possibly do that,--then do it!
To do that which I feared to do
To learn that the body can take whatever the spirit wills it to take
To build a reservoir of courage by overcoming danger
To find beauty in vistas and panoramas of mountains and valleys
stretched below as far as the eye can see from a mountain peak
To see tiny alpine mountain flowers fight for existence in a crack in a smooth vertical rock wall
To hear the roar of a tumbling waterfall just a shade of tone below the sound of the wind in tall trees,
To feel oneself blend into the Glory of God's creation until the self disappears and oneness with a beautiful environment is the only feeling.
To communicate with the creator and admire the glory of His creation
To see the wild, raw power of avalanches, tumbling boulders, swollen torrents of water
To experience a love of adventure and to reject a false security
To feel self reliant in living with danger.
To do without water on a hot day-without adequate clothing in freezing weather...
No one can be in the mountains without being changed for the better by them.
Time and Life fly by in the cities.
In the mountains Time and Life glide slowly, gently peacefully.
Climb the mountains and you will find the land where loneliness ends.
Nature's Peace will flow into you--The winds will refresh you-
The storms renew your energy--Cares will fade away like autumn leaves-
Fulfillment will bring you joy--Serenity will overwhelm you-
And composure will be your way of life.
Go back to the city --refreshed--renewed--resolved.
Don't make a decision about a problem
Until you have seen it from a mountaintop
for there is no dark, unfulfilled shies Man's spirit may not bear
And, out of horror arched with death
Regain new breath and vow to seek again the sun and windswept air."

Many THANKS for the above by Stan Zunde through the courtesy of Linda Denton.

"Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain-passes.
They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free,
and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.
Even the sick should try these so-called dangerous passes,
because for every unfortunate they kill,
they cure a thousand."
          -- John Muir

"The time will not be taken from the sum of your life.
Instead of shortening, it will indefinitely lengthen it and make you truly immortal.
Nevermore will time seem short or long,
and cares will never again fall heavily on you,
but gently and kindly as gifts from heaven."
          -- John Muir

Bill Kimes' often used toast with friends:

"Old wood to burn,
old books to read,
old wine to drink,
friends of old to trust"

And if you might have a book that Bill Kimes previously owned, with his bookplate inside ...
that bookplate - by artist Phil Dike, 1963,
     with the little school house near Summerlake Oregon.

SYMBOLS and their meanings on the bookplate:

BOOK - The World of Truth and Authority
BIRD - Peace and Limitless Space
TREE - Growth and the Wonders of Nature
SCHOOL - Knowledge and Understanding
SUN - Light of the World

And finally, a quote by Alex Haley, that came to mind just after Mother passed away:

"When an old person dies, it's like a library burning."

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"Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, inciting at once to work and rest! Days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God. Nevermore, however weary, should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day; whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever." - John Muir


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