When a tree falls down and blocks your path.

I am a creature of habit. In an ideal world i would do the exact same walk at the same time every day. In the real world I manage it a few times each week. The same thing, into the forest, turn uphill along one side of the descending river, cross a little bridge and down the other side. I love it. It is just challenging enough to break a light sweat. It takes just under an hour. The noise of the rushing water washes away any anxious thoughts. I rarely meet a soul, perfect! 

One day recently, after storm Ophelia, a huge tree lay in my path. What??!! Change my route?, no way! Go around?, nope, blocked by a boundary fence on one side and the river on the other. There was only one way, up and over. 

I approached the branches end of the tree and to my surprise, within the branches, there was a ladder type of shape there for me to climb. Up I went. Easy. The scary part … walking shakily along the length of the trunk at a height, nothing to hold on to and the ground far beneath. Then bum down, slide down a bit then lunge, jump, land, stumble and another tree broke my fall before I continued on my trajectory nearly into the river!

At 48 it’s been a while since I’ve climbed a tree. A while since I slid on my bum, jumped and stumbled. But wow did it feel good. I got the ‘phew’ you get after a near escape but more importantly I got the ‘yay me!’ you get when you’ve accomplished something formerly perceived to be just out of your reach. 

Now it’s my favourite part of my walk. I scale that tree like a Ninja. I’ve perfected my lunge and jump and I land like a ballerina. I stride on. Heart thumping a little faster, cheeks a little pinker. The tiny spark inside, the spark that was so bright when I was a carefree child climbing trees at will, is shining more brightly. And so am I. And everyone around me feels this too, they get my sparkle. I am a Ninja and a ballerina disguised as a middle aged lady going about my day. 

Thank you Ophelia for giving me an obstacle. 

"Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. "

Joshua J. Marine. 


Sylvia Ferguson