Poetry by Laura Ding-Edwards

The Tetons

The Mountain Poem

If the mountain seems too big today then climb a hill instead
if the morning brings you sadness it’s okay to stay in bed
if the day ahead weighs heavy and your plans feel like a curse
there’s no shame in re-arranging don’t make yourself feel worse
if a shower stings like needles and a bath feels like you’ll drown
if you haven’t washed your hair for days don’t throw away your crown
a day is not a lifetime a rest is not defeat
don’t think of it as failure just a quiet kind retreat
it’s okay to take a moment from an anxious fractured mind
the world will not stop turning while you get realigned
the mountain will still be there when you want to try again
so climb it in your own time and love yourself til then

Poem by Laura Ding-Edwards
Author and artist, Laura lives in rural Herefordshire. Her poetry book The Mountain was released in October 2019.  I discovered her Mountain poem posted on a Facebook support group that I follow. Although the poem does not specifically refer to Parkinson’s disease, I found line after line resonating with my chronic disease journey. My favorite thought is “a rest is not defeat…..just a quiet kind retreat.” Laura can be contacted at https://www.facebook.com/RainbirdRoots/

Photograph by Linda A. Mohr
Joe and I visited the Grand Teton National Park in 2018. The spectcular snow capped mountain peaks are awe-inspiring. Yes, the Teton Mountains will be there whenever I want to return!



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    • Karen Bryson on February 10, 2020 at 5:49 pm
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    I enjoyed both the poem and the photo! That massive mountain is always right before us, and I love the way Laura emphasized that we each have to climb it in our own time. Also we shouldn’t feel defeated if some days we can’t climb as well. We can count the hills we make it over on those days. We always have reasons to be thankful. That mountain is a beautiful obstacle in that it has created opportunities that otherwise would never have been acted upon, like reading Laura’s poem.

    Karen Bryson

    1. Hi Karen, So nice to hear from you again. I owe you a long letter! Soon I promise!! I have always admired the way you frame an obstacle as an opportunity. Your pursuit of art while you co-exist with PD comes to mind as an opportunity. We would likely have never met without having PD in common. Finding you and your beautiful paintings in an online group created the opportunity to interview you. You are an inspiration to me and others! Yes, we always have reasons to be thankful! Thanks so much for your thoughts.

    • Jane on February 18, 2021 at 2:31 pm
    • Reply

    What a wonderful uplifting poem. Absolutely beautiful.

    1. Hi Jane, Yes it is! Thanks for commenting.

    • Wendy Kirkman on April 7, 2021 at 12:22 am
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    I have seen these beautiful words all over the internet recently and they are so supportive.
    I do have a question though. This version has no punctuation but I’ve seen some with commas, full stops and capital letters. I’d love to know which is the original form.

    • Renisha on January 16, 2022 at 12:35 pm
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    I have been referring to the mountain poem ever since 2020 when I lost my husband. For me it’s my motivation and gives me the strength to go on everyday. When ever in sad or depressed or having difficulty day at work this poem reassure me worth and that not everything can be done overnight. This poem has taught me that no matter how old we are in life we can go back to taking baby steps and every small afford me make is our great victory. Beautiful and very inspiring.

    1. I have been away from my blog writing for a while and just resumed in the past week. Several readers have found the poem and it certainly speaks to many of us. I needed to see it again and accept the fact that I probably will not get everything done on my list each day. And that is OK!! I wish you the best as you take those baby steps. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    2. Hello Renisha, I like your comment that the poem reassures your worth and that not everything can be done overnight. I have to remind myself that “doing nothing” for a few hours or even all day is important for me to do after a major event. I wish you the best and hope you are doing well.

    • Lynne Laird on February 16, 2022 at 9:52 pm
    • Reply

    Can framed prints of this be ordered?’
    [email protected]

    1. Lynne, I will try to reach the poem’s author and see if she has that offer. It’s a good idea!

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