Second steps

Santa Anita Canyon hiking tripOn the hike the other day, we ended up at this waterfall. We’d crossed the streams several times, and while watching everyone, including myself, balance on rocks, I had an epiphany.

I am learning how to accept the fragility of beginnings and learning how to give them the space they need to solidify. And though I knew beginnings were tricky, what I learned while navigating the wobbly rocks is that sometimes the second step is sometimes even trickier.

Because the second step requires the first step to have been stable. If the first step crossing the water on slick rocks isn’t solid, it usually results in a fall into the water when you shift your weight to continue your journey. And these falls can result in cuts and bruises or broken bones, if you’re particularly uncoordinated.

Falling and dealing with the resulting pain would normally be enough to keep me from trying (I really hate pain), but if I never take the first step, I miss out on all the fun and adventure on the other side of the river. I don’t want to simply stand in the place where I am or where I was; I want to stand in a new place. I know that the new place might not be better than where I’m currently standing, but I’ll never know if I don’t visit. And sometimes the trick to making the second step successful is making the third step faster to build momentum so that the steps take care of themselves.

And if I fall in the water, at least I’m en route to a new place and on an adventure. The journey begins whenever you step outside your door, and you never know where the second step will take you – possibly to the treasure chamber of a dragon.

So I will take the second step. And the third. And see where I end up, even if it means walking through the Mines of Moria or the Wasteland. Because sometimes the only way home is through a gate that was never there before that requires a second step to reach.