Six years old.
My gentle mom.
My follow all the rules mom.
Or maybe she didn’t mom.
Mom grabs my little hand, pulls me away from the crowd, away from the guardrail.
Tip toe quietly out of sight, around a corner.
Closer. Closer. Closer.
Eyes big, heart pounding, holding tight to her safe hand.
The edge reaches for us, pulls us, fear makes me tingle – breathing stops.
She spots a tree.
What’s barely a tree.
Strong, spindly and determined.
Growing out of nothing, into nothing, living on the edge.
Mom leans out, grasps on with her free hand, holding tighter still to my hand.
Tiny steps forward.
Lean out – and look.
Hold tight – and look.
Come closer – and look.
Color, rocks, cliffs, birds soaring, water raging, head spinning, mind racing magnificence, only one step away.
Courage, strength, and beauty surround me when I choose to embrace my fear.
“If you don’t know the nature of fear, then you can never be fearless.” Pema Chodron