by Elizabeth Laing Thompson

The joy is in the trying, the hoping, the crying;
The joy is in the wanting, the wishing, the hunting;
The joy is in the dreaming, the planning, the scheming;
The joy is in the yearning, the aching, the burning;
The joy is in the striving, the longing, the sighing;

The joy is in the training, the sweating, the straining;
The joy is in the chasing, the sprinting, the racing;
The joy is in the drafting, the building, the crafting;
The joy is in the writing, the plotting, revising;
The joy is in the baiting, the watching, the waiting;

The joy is in the noble-questing, never-resting, go-out-westing;
The joy is in the white-whale-chasing, windmill-killing, true-love-saving;
The joy is in the risk-taking, heart-breaking, hope-waking;
The joy is in the nerve-wracking, hand-wringing, head-scratching;
The joy is in the star-seeking, moon-shooting, far-reaching;

The joy is in the goal-setting, soul-stretching,

‘Cause when at last we grasp
that wished-for, longed-for, long-sought prize,
we pause, and smile, and sigh—
and look around, a wistful eager gleam sparking in our eyes,
scanning the horizon for the next
mountain to scale, dragon to slay, heart to capture—
and with eyes twinkling, heart thrilling, joy swelling,
we turn and clap our hands and say,
“What’s next?”

The joy is in the trying, the hoping, the crying…

Author: Elizabeth Laing Thompson VIEW ALL AUTHORS POSTS

Elizabeth works from home as a writer, editor, diaper changer, baby snuggler, laundry slayer, not-so-gourmet chef, kid chauffeur, floor mopper, dog groomer, and tantrum tamer. She is always tired, but it's mostly the good kind.


  • Carmen Hamilton March 28, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    love it!!

  • dlaing March 28, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Love this. Love the Man of La Mancha reference.

  • Wat400 March 28, 2011 at 7:46 pm


    I never attempted to hike the entire Appalachian Trail (although I considered it). I know some that have done so and are more sad than elated because the goal is no longer there. I contnue to hike sections, some of them multiple times – and each hike is different even over the same trail. I never want to “finish” anything. As one of my T-shirts declares, “The journey is the destination!”

    That pretty well sums up my life.


    • Elizabeth L Thompson March 30, 2011 at 3:15 pm

      So true, Bill, one of my favorite things about you! (And your son, by the way, is the same way… 🙂 )

  • Sippycupcentral March 28, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Ahh, that was a lovely poem on a very dreary day. Thank-you! Karen

  • Geri4 March 29, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I love this! It SO well expresses the way we live life. I definitely know from this end that the dreaming and reaching never stops!

  • Emma March 29, 2011 at 11:45 am

    This was inspiring to me this morning! I love your writing!

  • JonathanLaing April 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I love it! A good reminder to enjoy each moment for what it is, even if it’s waiting and hoping.

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