The Fear of Walking

Golden Gate Bridge, pelicans, walkingWalking scares me, yet I practice it every day.

Of course, the actual motion of moving one foot in front of the other, swinging arms, smiling at the dog by my side, feeling the cool San Francisco fog on my face and appreciating the rising rosy sun isn’t scary.

But my walking thoughts are.

What, for instance, would it be like to trade places with the pelican swaying above me right now, showing off its ability to use the power of the wind while eying me with beady distain? If I were he, and he were me, I’d ignore such a useless two-footed creature, stuck in slow motion on a hard surface at limited eye level with the grace of a tree stump.

I’d soar above the blue gray water to search for the tell-tale scaly flash and YES, point my long sharp beak straight down to smash past the wave, pelican, walkling, soul, Golden Gate Bridgegrabbing my meal in one sharp swallow.

Instead, I swallow my disappointment that, in my human form, only dry toast with some sticky peanut butter awaits my slow-footed return to home.

I wonder, if only I tried harder, I could learn the secret of how to release my lighter, brighter soul, the “it” inside of my tree stump of a body, and zoom up and away, exploring the underside of the Golden Gate Bridge, past the Farallon Islands, cross the endless miles of melodic monotonous ocean waters, mingling with the other endless souls released from bunioned toes and stalky legs.

Zap…NO! I don’t want to be released yet from these mortal coils, I scream silently, holding on to my soul like a woman holding down her hat on a too windy day. I’ll stick with the crackling knees and blistered heels, the chapped red knuckles and running nose, the stress of too little time for a deadline-heavy day, and the pang of missing family who live on the wrong coast. I want to continue enjoying the glory of the left coast with sunsets and fog horns and handheld hikes with husband along the soul-drenched waters of life.

dog, walking, San Francisco Bay, soulThe dog tugs and suddenly my thoughts are leashed to the day ahead, the bread to toast, the office desk to manage, the bills to pay, groceries to buy, phones to answer, news to digest, rugs to vacuum, and words to write.

Until tomorrow morning – and another scary walk.

What about you? How scary are YOUR walks?

12 thoughts on “The Fear of Walking

  1. Loved this, especially the bit about keeping your hat on to keep your soul in! Brilliant:-) Sorry, my walks aren’t scary at all – they’re my heaven on earth and what I live for right now…shut up as I am in a glass cage staring out at blue skies and sunshine and inhaling air conditioning for 8 hours a day…now that’s scary!!!


  2. oh pam…loved this piece!!! I was right there, walking alongside you and your dog and looking up and then down!!!! thanks for the morning walk! pat


  3. Loved your line, “soul-drenched waters of life.” Next time your walking think about swimming in those soul-drenched waters…what sea creature would you be? I know you’ll come up with something very artily interesting.


    • I loved it when that line – soul-drenched waters of life – sproat from my writing fingers. And wonderful question you ask – I would be a mermaid for sure – how about you??


  4. Such beautiful imagery! It takes me back to walks on the beach as a child, watching the pair of pelicans that had only recently begun nesting nearby. It was certainly a lot easier to walk back then, before the hip pain and fallen arches. I feel your pain and can imagine taking flight to soar with the pelicans, but like you I want to be ‘leashed to the day’ so I can watch Grandson grow to be the handsome man I know he will be. 🙂


  5. Excellent,I saw it all as though I was there. My friend Pat Hoover passed this to me and I thank you both, you for your writing talent, her for sharing. Flo M-McC in Litchfield Park, AZ


    • So nice meeting you Flo! Thanks for reading my blog, thanks for being a friend to my very special friend Pat. And of course, I love having you visiting me at Roughwighting. Come by anytime!


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