Facing my fears whilst hiking – #dVerse #Haibun

I was afraid to start the walk. It was rated: ‘very difficult marked trail.’ I’d only done ‘easy marked trail’ up to now. From the valley floor, the sheer rock face above looked inaccessible to the humble hiker. I’ve never been a climber as I’m much too afraid of heights. But this was something I would have to conquer if I was ever to access the upper reaches of the Alps. My fear. Fear of being afraid, becoming paralysed, cragfast.

So we agreed the route: we set off; the path wound steeply but securely through the woods. There were no vertiginous drops to contend with (yet) but still I was afraid. What was I afraid of? Facing my fears! Emerging onto the cliff face and being unable to continue. Most of all I was afraid of not knowing what was coming next.

Then came the climb: the route was pegged out. The online guide described it as ‘technically difficult’ and ‘dangerously slippery when wet,’ but it was neither wet nor difficult. There was a steep drop behind but all that I needed to do was climb: focus on the ascent, and not look down. As on the hike, so in life:

So often we fear
The unknown, hidden danger:
Neither here, nor there.

Writen in response to dVerse Haibun Monday: Take a Hike! You can read a more in-depth description of the walk in this Postcard from Slovenia.

26 thoughts on “Facing my fears whilst hiking – #dVerse #Haibun

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  1. I’ve never been brave enough to attempt a ‘very difficult marked trail’, Ingrid, and I can only marvel that you did it. It sounds scary but beautiful, especially the woods – I love trees.

  2. I think that any track where the use of hands is needed will be marked very difficult… still I know that it’s not always to get down as it is getting up… I have faced a few scary tracks in my days,,, and I know the feeling of fearing the fear.

  3. Mira has often described hiking as labor: an agony of effort for the delight of accomplishment after. Especially a view. Courage is the summit you reached, and I love how your haiku conveys that!

  4. I really love the way you compare climbing to life. You are right. If we keep our focus and quit looking at the what ifs we will make it! Great use of the prompt Ingrid!

  5. I liked your take on discovery and dealing with fear (and a great photo) – as you say ‘as on the hike, so in life’. Hope you go on to the Alps one day. As for spiders, I reckon some fears are perfectly sensible (shudder).

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