Courage in the Ordinary   3 comments

The summer season is upon us and my mind turns to courage of an organic sort this time of year.

Courage is one of those words that people generally use to describe acts of heroism or as a trait to be valued in our military or rescue personnel such as firemen or policemen. It connotes a lack of fear.

For myself, to be fearless is not the lack of fear but the refusal to allow fear to have power over my actions or reactions. To me, to be courageous is to overcome fear.

Everything one does in Alaska in the summer (and for a good deal of the winter) involves courage. It generally starts in April when we hike into our property off the Steese. We know the bears are waking up, but we can’t resist going out to check on our lumber pile (uh, future cabin) and work out what the best winter/spring trail will be.

Brad was chased by a grizzly a few years ago and had to hold him off with a chainsaw, so there is always a little hyper-vigilance as we start down the trail. We don’t think of ourselves as brave. We certainly aren’t heroes. We are definitely exercising courage. We’d be foolish not to consider the risk of grizzlies, especially in the spring when they’ve been fasting all winter. We look tasty and they don’t care if we’re raw or not. They don’t even want ketchup with that. Still, for us, it is an every weekend kind of thing and while there are risks involved, we overcome our concerns and head out to where we want to go.

I think there is a great deal of courage in everyday actions that people do without even thinking about it.



3 responses to “Courage in the Ordinary

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  1. I have mad respect for all of my friends living in Alaska. I called 911 when I was chased by a dog while out running…


    • Bear spray is pretty ineffective against grizzly bears, but it works really well against dogs. Not only will they stop chasing you, but they will probably never chase another runner again. Canisters are available through Cabela’s and other sporting goods outfits online. The dog will have a really unpleasant several hours following, but it does no permanent harm. A friend accidentally set one off in his own face once, so we’ve tested the “does no lasting harm” (except to his dignity) theory.

      Liked by 1 person

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