A short for today : Nature Girls — were you one of them?
There are childhood rituals, rites of passage in which we’ve all participated. For some it could have been a lunch of worms, for others, being dressed backward and forced to wear no makeup, nor be able to fix your hair — for an entire day!
When I saw this photo, those rites of passage came to mind. My daughter Abby had texture issues as a baby. She hated (with a passion) the feel of grass. Looking at this photo, I too cringed at the thought of stepping foot upon it. But I had at least two friends who would have happily crawled across it without a single worry.
The problems lay in more than just crossing that threshold. What if I couldn’t do it? What if my body betrayed my mind, my resolve? What ifs are so problematic! 🙂
And so, I bring to you …
Written by Aimee Laine
Nausea. Nerves. Worry. Envy. Carin was as green as the moss covered log in front of them. She tried to focus on a point in the distance. Instead, she closed her eyes, took a deep breath and tentatively reached to place one toe on the edge. She bristled at the feel and quickly replaced her foot.
“All you have to do is tiptoe across.” The encouragement wasn’t helping.
Jaime was the only reason Carin stood shoeless amidst the worn and tired trees, long since overgrown from the last battle of wind.
“C’mon! It’s not that hard. Watch.”
She peeked through one eye as Jaime casually stepped atop the log. Arms outstretched, she stood deftly, toes pointed, feet curved to fit the arc beneath her.
“See? One foot after the other.”
“You’ll fall!” Escalated worry forced Jaime to crane her neck around.
“You’ll get hurt!” Carin threaded her fingers as she clamped her hands together. Tears threatened.
“No I won’t. Watch!”
She followed Jaime’s movements left and right. A dance as natural as the wind whipping through a willow’s branches. Jaime swayed in time with the boughs, swung her toes toward the light and back and raised and lowered her arms in harmony.
The layers of the long, wooden path stretched into forever.
“Worry is all in your mind.” Jaime tapped her forehead and took a step farther.
“Life is a balancing act.” She spun once on tiptoe before she took another step.
“Let go of what your eyes see.” She dug her toes into the moss and leapt into the air then landed expertly.
“Feel it with your soul.” She took three steps forward, three steps back and came to rest in what Carin recognized as first position.
“Trust yourself.” Jaime motioned with her hand for Carin to step up.
“Trust yourself. Trust yourself. Trust yourself!” Hands fisted at her sides, the strength of her resolve built fervently with each repetition. With one last look to her shoes which lay in the brambles, Carin stepped onto nature’s balance beam.
“Now all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other.” Counseled by Jaime, she fought to control her balance.
One last time she whispered the words.
With her arms level with the plane below, she followed Jaime and became one of them.
Photograph by Emily Camp