by Rachel Holmes
Last weekend, I ventured out of the safe haven of the Cronx to fields of green and barley – or something like that.
Let’s go for a walk, they said. It will be fun, they said.
What started out as a nice plan to stroll through the glorious English countryside with a quick pit stop at a cake shop (obviously), turned into an epic and perilous trek through hills, mountains and ravines of mud, mud and more mud. It was just like Going On a Bear Hunt – we couldn’t go over it, we couldn’t go under it, so oh flip flopping no, we had to go through it.
I spent the better part of two hours feeling terrified that I was about to slip, fall and then trudge back to the car covered head to toe in mud. My shame at falling witnessed and judged by every other walker, sheep and cow that we saw. I’m all for natural facemasks or whatev but a face full of sheep-poo mud? Save it for the next Hollywood skin care gimmick, I’ll give that a miss, thanks.
I soon realised I was letting the fear of a possibility of discomfort rob me of the joy of enjoying green fields, blue skies and horizons – yes, real life horizons with trees. It’s not a myth, they do still exist.
And then, as you do when you have a realisation, the soundtrack kicks in. This one was The Fear by Ben Howard –
Oh, I’ve been worryin’ that my time is a little unclear
I’ve been worryin’ that I’m losing the ones I hold dear
I’ve been worryin’ that we all live our lives in the confines of fear
And then it hit me like a wrecking ball of cold wet mud in the face. Have I really? Have I really been living my life in the confines of fear? Particularly the fears of failure and discomfort? What did my fear cost me? Where might I have been if I’d pushed on through the fear? Have I been making decisions based on fear, not faith?
I would like to say at this point that I threw caution to the wind, threw off the shackles of fear, embraced potential failure and stomped through the mud like a child rejoicing in puddles.
Ha! No. I hate being cold, wet and muddy – you can thank three years of school PE lessons, playing rugby on top of a hill in winter for that. I actually made it back to the safety of the car crying for my mother, holding on to all the fences and trees that might keep me upright, eating some excellent coffee and walnut cake, and when no other option seemed possible, simply closing my eyes, saying a quick prayer and leaping across the puddle/river/reservoir of mud. Not too different from surviving PE actually.
But actually, life is for living yo!
Life in all its fullness has more power than we could ever imagine over the limiting confines of seemingly small fears that steal and destroy.
Life in all its fullness has immeasurably more potential than we can dream.
Life is for living yo!