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Standing at the Edge
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“How do you expect me to climb down this cliff?” I asked.

I looked down at the steep hill with rocks jutting out that might as well have been a cliff. The roar of the rushing river stretched out beyond, small rapids and mini waterfalls forming where the cool, clear water made its way down in a hurry, and I could feel the spray of the water against my face. I closed my eyes and smiled. The spray felt like heaven to me, and I wanted so badly to get down to the water.

“It’s not a cliff!” my boyfriend Savoy said. He looked at me. He was already by the water and had even climbed out on to a rock surrounded by the river rapids which looked too fast even for a raft to go down.

I stood on the edge and looked down. Then ever so slowly, I eased my right foot down on to what looked like a safe spot below. I could feel my sandaled foot slipping as I did so, and shot my foot back up. How am I going to do this? I thought. My boyfriend just didn’t get it, didn’t understand my fear of looking down. That hill looked like a cliff to me.

I sat down and slid part way down the hill, feeling the dirt and rocks as I did, and skidded to a stop while my boyfriend watched. I felt like an idiot. When I was a kid and even a young adult, I’d take all these cliffs and steep hills with no problem at all. My sister and I used to go on major hikes up at Mount Tamalpias, and one time we managed to climb down from the top of the mountain all the way into Muir Woods and back. I can’t even remember how we did it, but we did. I don’t remember being afraid though. We’d also scurry up and down slippery rocks on the beach like it was no big deal.

Now, this one so called hill freaked me out. Just like how I feel about my writing. I’m at the edge looking out on a beautiful world, that I can feel but not quite touch.

As I finally got to the water’s ledge, I thought about how topsy turvy my world is now. How I was the one who provided transportation for all of my kids and their friends. I was the one who made sure we always had a place to live. Now even my youngest daughter, my baby girl Megan had a car and I don’t right now. I have to depend on my boyfriend to drive me around.

When did this happen? Why?


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