One step at a time

“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.

One step.

Capilano swayed under the weight of a multitude of feet, like pendulum. Swinging within the very same trajectory. Left. Right.

Another step.

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.

Step. Step.

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.

Climb. Over.

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

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