Never Give Up

A couple of evenings ago, while surveying the front yard roses, a quote from one of my favorite science fiction spoofs came to mind.

“Never give up. Never surrender.”

It’s primarily attributed to Jason Nesmith, the cheesy captain played by Tim Allen in Galaxy Quest. However, throughout the movie, it’s repeated by many characters in moments of despair, hope and triumph. It came to me when I was standing over a rosebush so small that it barely counts as a bush but still produced two dainty, yellow roses this summer.

Thanks to my retirement at the end of 2017, this was the first spring and summer in at least a decade that I’ve actually had time to pay close attention to the front yard. When I went out there in the early blush of April, I was determined to take control of the mess it had become. I pulled weeds and raked fallen leaves by the barrel, pruned roses that didn’t know what shears were, and dug up two butterfly bushes that had died from overcrowding.

Somewhere in the process, I considered whether to remove this little twig of a rosebush that was buried in debris and getting virtually no water from the pathetic dripper head nearby. I decided there was no harm in letting it try to recover and helped it along with fertilizer and a new, more effective dripper. Pretty soon it rewarded me with one tiny yellow rosebud. Later in the summer, another appeared.

Today, as autumn temperatures push the garden into slumber, I’m grateful I gave the forgotten rosebush a chance. It quickly recovered from years of inattention and scant nourishment and has grown enough to measure. I can’t wait to see what it will do next spring.

Quite naturally, I see that bush as a symbol of what we, as human beings, are capable of achieving in less-than-ideal circumstances.

Almost everyone I know can pull a tragic memory from their past. Something that derailed them and changed the course of their life. The world calls them defining experiences.

But are they defining in a negative way? At first perhaps. With time and inner strength and support, calamities can motivate people to reach great heights. To do great good. To leave the world a better place.

It’s not an accident that this line of thought comes to mind while the world outside my garden is overrun with turmoil, rancor, and deeply polarizing events. It’s horrifying no matter where you stand on issues, policies, and ideologies. Every day I wonder how we can collectively turn the tide and recover from the divisive conflicts that hog the headlines and define our times.

It’s not as simple as raking up the debris, throwing some fertilizer and water at the problem, and sitting back to watch the transformation. But we can do it. I know we can.

“Never give up. Never surrender.”

Words to live by from a cheesy space captain and a little, yellow rose.

4 thoughts on “Never Give Up

  1. Thank you for sharing, such a breath of fresh air in airways that are so cluttered. I believe we all need to get back to the soil, not the dirt, and lean to smile again under natures skys. Yes, something as simple as a wee rose can be polarizing

    Liked by 1 person

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