Poem by Photographer, Jeremy Pollack
Putting one foot in front of the other
I can see what is next.
Are there holes in the ground?
Or tripping hazards?
Or a fence to climb?
Is there a lion waiting to eat me?
So many hazards to react to as I walk along the path,
All of my attention focused
On not falling on my face
On not slipping off the cliff
On not making a mistake
On reacting to what is in front of me
Step after step, the path is fairly clear.
I lift my head and see mountains in the distance
And the ocean.
Their beauty is overwhelming
Their majesty takes my breath away,
and I think, “I want to get there.”
And I think, “I want to see that up close.”
The view inspires me,
To lift my head up more often.
I can see the hill that is coming,
And can see further down the path,
Can see challenges that might be coming before the next bend.
But I can’t see what is just beyond the next hill,
only the awesome mountain behind it
only the endless sea and wide sandy shore.
What if over that hill is a monster,
Or a lion
Or a chasm of infinite depth?
Maybe I just should stay here instead.
I know this path,
I know the hazards that line this trail,
And I can enjoy the scenery,
And just dream of the view from atop that mountain,
or across that ocean.
The other side of the hill is unknown
And unknown is scary.
And the more I walk this path
The better I will know it,
And the safer I will be.
The less likely I will be to trip and fall,
and land on my face,
or skin a knee,
or get eaten by the lion
But the more I walk this path,
the less likely I will be,
To make it to the top of that mountain,
to ever swim in that ocean.
Or ever to see what is beyond,
beyond the furthest reaches of what I can see,
Or can even imagine.
Because I can just imagine,
That maybe there is something else ,
Even further out,
So far out that I can’t even see it,
That no one around me can see.
The only way to see it,
is to put one foot,
in front of the other.
To take the risk of tripping,
Or getting eaten by the lion,
Or falling into the unseen chasm over the hill.
The only way to get there, the only way to answer the question,
the only way to see what is atop the mountain,
Is to make my own path
to the highest peak I can see.
Experiencing the the adventures along the way,
Of defeating the lion,
Of vaulting the chasm,
And bandaging the skinned knee,
And pushing forward.
Until I can see the view from that peak,
Experience the enormity of the world,
And see what is beyond,
Reaching out for what is next.
Can you relate to this fear of unknown in the journey ahead? I know I can. 🙂
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