Tag Archives: fear

On Fear

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Fear

It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.

She looks back at the path she has traveled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.

And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.

But there is no other way.
The river can not go back.

Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.

The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,
but of becoming the ocean.

-Khalil Gibran

Crossing The Rubicon

I faced a fear today.

About half a mile from my home is a large urban park with fountains, trees, green spaces, populated by geese and ducks, pigeons and seagulls. It’s close to a first-class public library. It’s a walkable distance to get there and would make a great daily walk destination. Except… to get there requires crossing a not-quite highway called an expressway. These are six-lanes (both ways) with extra lanes at intersections for turning, and with no-stop right-turn merge curves that many people hardly slow down while taking. Oh, there are crosswalks and pedestrian lights. However, the stated speed limit is 45 miles per hour, and I know people easily drive 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. I’ve crossed the road on my bike, but until today I was terrified to walk with Claire in the stroller (or even by myself). Well, terror might be an exaggeration; let’s just say prospect made me very uneasy. I mean, would you feel comfortable crossing this?

san tomas rubicon

When I started the walk I didn’t plan to go. My feet just took over. Except for the right-turn curves — where I made sure to look thrice and wait for oncoming drivers to slow down, see me, and wave me across — it was easily done. I will never attempt this at dusk, dark, or dawn, but I could see us taking walks there more frequently. I suppose I could load the stroller in the car and drive to the park, and save all the walking for the many paths, but a) it seems like a lot more effort and b) it kind of galls me to drive half a mile to take a walk. If you were me, what would you do?