Tuesday, November 30, 2010
A glimmer of fear returned on Thanksgiving Day, when I drove up Monhollan, and pulled off the road where the little, gated road goes up to the water tanks. A tattered looking man carrying a large plastic bag, dragging it, more accurately, was trudging up the Monhollan, and I played out a scary scenario in my mind. It had been a doctor who’d warned me about outcasts living in the woods...
At least, I put the reigns on the horrifically scary stuff before I had my body parts entirely scattered throughout the woods, buried under and behind my favorite nooks and crannies. Turn back? I asked myself. Hell no. I answered.
It took all of about ten minutes to wrest the fear from my body, to wring its neck with reality, to overpower it with beauty. And then it was no more remembered than what I’d had for breakfast two weeks ago last Monday.
For the first almost six months of walking at Jacks Peak, on the days I went alone, I wasn’t entirely alone, not for much more than occasional breathers. Fear was my frequent companion. If I turned left, it did too. When I sat down on a bench, not that I often did, fear sat beside me, looked into my eyes with its beady ones.
Fear would say, “Look out!” or “Over there!” And after taking the bait so many times, feeling terror clamp my throat shut, only to see a squirrel jumping from one branch to another or to see nothing at all, I had enough. My system couldn’t take it. My adrenaline needed a break. Frankly, it wasn’t all that much fun walking holding fear’s hand. The treadmill at the gym was sounding a lot better.
And then. Fear barked. Even at first, when I had to swallow the bile back down and wipe the sweat from my forehead, I yawned. Fear said, “Run, idiot!” and I continued strolling along, humming a little tune.
Poor fear! It got frustrated when it would grab my shoulders, hold them tightly, shake real hard, only to have me lift its spindly fingers off, and walk away. Fear got bored with me, once I stopped playing along.
I may have really hurt my fear’s ego, but I haven’t destroyed it. Nor will I ever try to. Dear fear, who has saved me more than once, will, I expect, do so again. On that day, I will be grateful; its feet will have my lips’ kisses.
Posted by Patrice Vecchione at 7:20 AM