“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed.”
– Cheryl Strayed
This was it – the mothership. Keep calm now, I thought. Deep breath.
Capilano swayed under the weight of a multitude of feet, like pendulum. Swinging within the very same trajectory. Left. Right.
It always starts slow, doesn’t it? Baby steps toward a new beginning. Creeping along the bridge, I looked up. I had a long way to go, I had an entire journey ahead. It was overwhelming, it was exciting.
Don’t look down, don’t look down, I told myself. But I did it anyway. A sharp drop. How far would I fall before I hit the ground with a thud? Why was I risking a fall at all? An abyss of meaninglessness lay below me.
A voice rang in my head. Mother’s. I was the lucky Lazarus, I was Sisyphus. I must keep going, with pride. I must push this boulder till the peak. I must keep going even though turning back was so much easier. I must keep walking this shaky ground.
Hand crept along the rail. A potpourri of people crossed in the other direction. In that moment of proximity there was some silent affiliation. White, brown, black, solidarity. Step.
Swerve. I must not give up. I bumped into people, I was cursed, I was stepped upon. But I kept going with the wind in my hair. The trees rustled in the distance, offering a hushed tune to step in beat with. The wind rustled the leaves. The wind rustled my hair. The trees and I were one.
A woman ahead of me walked without support. I lifted my hand from the rail. Goosebumps, sweat. I followed her. I learnt from her. I overtook her, offering a smile as fee. Look ma, no hands!
I neared the end, swerve after swerve, and step after step. The trees towered over me, the people passed me by. So many things passed me by. Seconds, minutes, life.
I looked back and smiled, for I’d come a long way. Each moment was my memory, each smile exchanged a friendship.
Would I go back? No. Did I know what lay ahead? No. Would I change a thing? No.
by Vrinda Batra
Art – Mavni