The Edge

The Edge

edges, fear, poetry

Devils Tower in Wyoming

~

walking toward the edge

fear growing with each step

my heart pounding

body and nerves shaking

mind’s urgent warnings

~

leaving the comfort zone

when we face our fears

anything is possible

failure, growth, or joy

step off and fly

Brad, edges

I still don’t like edges!

~

The first time I remember this feeling is when I saw the Grand Canyon as a child and was afraid to go the edge. I was literally shaking as I got near the edge of the cliffs. And yes, the drop is very significant, but I wasn’t really in physical danger. My fear of heights and edges was raging, compounded or created by watching my brother fall off our outdoor landing when he was about 3 and I was 10. It was a 12-foot fall that left him unconscious and spending the next week in the hospital. The prognosis was for him to maybe never walk again, but my mother was determined that he would walk, and he was fine over time. But those few weeks were a dramatic and stressful time for me. So the fact that I visited the Grand Canyon as an adult and was able to negotiate my fears and the steep edges to hike all the way from the South Rim down to the valley below and back was a major accomplishment. Not to mention one of the hardest hikes I’ve ever done. It was about 11 miles round trip, but I found it much harder to hike down first and then have the climb at the end of the day, especially when I didn’t bring enough water!

That summer was a time of physical and mental growth as I learned to push myself, explore new places (within and without), and develop a sense of confidence that was new for me. Plus, I was in great shape from all the hiking. Over the summer, I progressed from mild 3-5 mile hikes to strenuous 12-15 mile hikes, often with over 5000-foot elevation gains. It’s good to remember those times and accomplishments as I roll into my senior years and contemplate what to do. Hopefully, I won’t let fear keep me from the edge, but truthfully, I’ve seen myself become much more cautious in the last decade.

To facing our fears and pursuing dreams. 

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28 thoughts on “The Edge

  1. Sometimes caution is your “new” fear! Meaning, it’s not about conquering fear to do a thing, so much as creating a new and uniquely loving relationship with your changing capacity, and overcoming the old definitions of yourself. One way or another love grows and shows no bounds! Lovely post, Brad!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Oh that old ‘Edge’…Creepy place, for real. At great heights especially. Sometimes the edge draws you closer and almost makes you go over..At great heights it has a way of beckoning. .But good for you Brad! Bucking the fear is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do…Go for it and I hope you find complete success. Blessings to you…VK

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow, Brad! Love, Love, LOVE that photo!!! I can feel the energy radiating from IT, just as infeelbyour passion in the words you wrote!
    Ah! The Grand Canyon!! I’ve seen it twice…from the north and the South. I have always wanted to hike down but have not been back. That area had such incredible energy for me. The older I get, the more challenging that hike would be. I believe I would have to plan a trip to stay over at the bottom and hike back up the next day.
    I’m proud of you, Brad. Fear is a funny thing. It usually is based on a past experience that we associate with the new one. Your brother’s fall no doubt contributed. But I wonder what it would be like if we could start each new journey with childlike wonder, AND childlike fearlessness!
    Now that would be fun!!!
    Have a super week, Brad 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Senior years… psh! 😉 Great post Brad, I enjoyed reading about your experiences and hearing your reflections. Yes, to facing our fears and pursuing dreams! And I would add to that… embracing change, as I’m on the brink (edge) of some changes here. Have a wonderful day, my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful poem, Brad, and what an account of your experiences with edges. There is something liberating about facing our fears and challenging ourselves as we shiver in our shoes (or hiking boots). I used to rock climb, but as I’ve aged, heights are harder for me. I get dizzy. BUT I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, and when I go, I’m going to walk to the edge! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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