March 9, 2014

Do Something Today that Scares You



The sure, solid ground so long taken for granted rumbles, fractures and the context of my world shifts.  Simple pleasures that once brought tranquility and joy become insurmountable; a wall of false security carefully built around the cracked foundation to hold it in place begins to hold me in place, captive, immobile.




Acres have been cleared in our quiet neighborhood and wildlife is scrambling to find new territory.  Coyote sightings have become common place; spotted mid-afternoon, ambling calmly down the sidewalk in the front, stopping to forage on a neighbor's pyracantha, hunting small mammals in the greenbelt behind the house and often heard celebrating their kill in the early morning hours. 

I don't begrudge them their need to survive but if I'm being honest, the possibility of coming upon a pack of them unnerves me.  No, terrifies me. To the point that I've quit walking the trails.  I love the trails.  I've become afraid of the trails.




An unseasonably cold afternoon found me longing for a solitary walk.  I made my way out the back gate and up the trail.

It doesn't seem like much, this simple act of opening the back gate and putting one foot in front of the other but it was a step in obedience. 





A step toward the certainty that the ground will forever be shifting and it will sometimes crack and throw my balance; a step toward seeing the possibility of discovering goodness and light in shifting ground and another toward the tranquility and joy found again in simple pleasures.  
 


20 comments:

  1. That is such good advice, Cat. I took a walk by myself today, too. It was in a very populated area and I felt very safe, but it is always a walk of faith to venture out on one's own. Lovely images of your local area! Are those Crepe Myrtles in the first photo? The combination of the trees and the grasses and the sky makes for a fascinating photo!

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    1. The crape myrtles caught my eye as well and set amongst the silvery grass I thought they stood out so nicely. They are such a pretty, structural tree in the winter. I'm glad to hear it's not so cold that you can't get out and enjoy your scenery.

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  2. I think it's excellent advice to do something, everyday, which is mildly terrifying. I don't do that and as I age, I recognize how important it is to keep that bit of daring youth in hand. Thank you for the reminder--and the beautiful photos.

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  3. I got quite a scare recently. We think a coyote attacked one of our puppies in our backyard. Luckily, she's fine. A visit to the vet showed she had a good-sized puncture on the back of her neck. She's still afraid to go outside, especially in the dark, but she's improving. Hopefully, the experience taught her to be vary of coyotes if she encounters one again.

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  4. I believe we are right to be wary of the coyotes - especially since they no longer find it necessary to be wary of us (in more remote areas they'd come across folks with shotguns on hand for the varmints - in our suburbs they have free rein and know it). That said - a home can become a bunker if we get too fearful to step away. Thank you for the reminder to face our fears and venture out.

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  5. Don't I remember seeing dangerous snakes on *your* side of the fence? A little fear is a good thing, but don't let it stop you from enjoying the world!

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  6. As always, what beauty you post here. It is hard to step out sometimes. Good for you for doing it!

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  7. Beautiful photos.
    You're right...we have to make ourselves do things that scare us a bit. It's easy to get comfortable 'hiding' from the world.
    Do be careful, though. Wild things get less and less afraid of humans.

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  8. Love your shots- the second in particular. Stunning. Ok the coyotes would scare me too!!!! AAhh! I do feel sorry for them though at the same time when they are losing their area to roam, but I still wouldn't feel comfortable having them so close to the house. Especially with my dogs and cats. Beautiful post.

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  9. I would be scared of the coyotes, too. Usually I would suspect that they would be scared of humans, but one never knows. So sad to lose the trails you love so much to fear, even for a day. Now, however, since you have faced your fears and walked the trail, perhaps your mind will be eased a bit. I think it's scary to walk alone anywhere - whether it's coyote-infested walking trails or in an urban situation, the unknown is always there. Stay safe!

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  10. It’s a shame — both about the encroaching suburbia on the wolve’s habitat and the wolve’s encroaching on your reflective space. We hear them here sometimes and they have been known to go after small dogs every once in a while. Scary.

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  11. I'd happily go walking in that beautiful country, coyotes and all. I actually don't think a coyote would bother you unless it was rabid. If you're concerned, bring some pepper spray. It's so nice to see you back to posting more regularly. Your photos are gorgeous.

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  12. Once I am fully recovered I plan to do a lot of walking.....my recent retirement was a study in doing something that scares you.

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  13. Like Eleanor Roosevelt's "Do the thing you think you cannot do."
    I have never regretted the few times I have summoned the courage to do something scary. Even though in one case it took me nearly a year of courage building.

    I hope you can find some trust in the coyote. Their dangerous reputation (especially here in Texas) is not really fair to their real nature.

    Love the eerie yet lovely initial photo. Is it the long view of the final group of trees?

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    1. The possomhaw is found along the same trail but is in a different location than the crape myrtles. I wish y'all could see how the light played off the grasses in the first photo. It was breathtaking. Sometimes I just can't capture what my eye sees...but I keep trying :)

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  14. Speak softly and carry a big stick! I'm glad you're able to face your fears and enjoy your usual walks. I'm just glad we don't live in bear or cougar territory, at least not yet. :-)

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    1. You remind me of the time we encountered mountain lion tracks in Big Bend...I've got to share that story with you; it's hilarious!

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  15. Coyote warnings on the trail where I used to live (even cougar and bear prints) never concerned me, but maybe they should have. But yes, taking steps into the unknown is a good thing...so is that photo of the crape myrtles on the grassy knoll!

    More than once starting my rides and hikes, I met women with dogs, who told of being approached by coyotes...each said it never happened without a dog.

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    1. That's interesting that you make the point about walking with the dogs...I'm actually more concerned when I have my dog with me which is a completely alien feeling since he usually brings me a feeling of protection. I've found a walking stick that I've taken to carrying with me. Seems to help :)

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  16. So many places I know of where "progress" leaves nature scrambling for a new home. We experienced it ourselves a few years back. At least they left green space for us to enjoy. Be brave? Easier said than done sweet friend. Be safe.

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Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

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