Peter, take a step
The leaves rustled with the wind, as the grass swayed gently along. The crunch of his footsteps accompanied the sound of running waters. The soft breeze left his skin feeling cool, as the smell of fresh water invaded his senses. He bent to scoop a handful of water, breathless from the hike. He gulped the water desperately.
Swish. The wind blew, leaves scattered and landed on his shoulder.
“Peter, take a step”, she whispered.
“Why?”, he answered.
“Do you trust me?”
He took a step, extending his foot to the large rock on the river.
“Peter, take another step.”
“Why? Isn’t this enough?”
“You’re almost there.”
He took another step, breathing hard. His foot slipped on the wet, mossy surface, giving him a scare. He righted himself quickly, bending over to catch his breath. The sound of rushing water grew louder, almost deafening his ears.
“Just one more step.”
“Peter, the sun is setting.”
He shook his head.
“Peter, JUMP!”, she yelled.
He took a huge breath, and leaped with a heavy grunt. He collapsed on the ground, his chest heaving violently. His heart was still racing as he looked up at the sky; the hues of red, orange, and yellow, painted across beautifully. He welcomed the cool evening air as the sun set, and the leaves rustled once more.
“Peter, look, you crossed the river”, she whispered proudly.
He lifted his head, accessing the river. As he looked ahead, he saw the rocks he was on; the rocks that were laid in the river like stepping stones. He saw the spot where he had bent to retrieve water, and he saw the fallen leaves on the river bank. He turned his head, and saw a meadow full of flowers. And as the light dwindled, he made his way to the middle of the clearing, awaiting the moonlight that would shine bright on the meadow’s beauty.
He sat, waited, and smiled.
“I miss you, Mom”, he said.
It isn’t about the people who were physically there, or the people who have left. It’s about the people who made you try. Those are the ones who will continually motivate and encourage you, drag you out of your comfort zone, and push you to your limit. All because they believe you can do so much better, and achieve so much more. They are the people that will always be a constant in your head and heart, whether they are around or not.
As you grow in years and wisdom, you’ll realise how differently you’ve come to view each challenge, each obstacle. As a kid, the task seemed daunting, nearly impossible for a tiny boy at the edge of the river bank. As a teen, you grew in height and strength. Yet, you could never get rid of that irrational fear: you could still see yourself drowning in the river, despite all the swimming lessons in the world. Now, as an adult, you’re still no less scared than you were at 7 or 15. However, your perspective has changed; the river seemed dangerous, but the meadow across was simply breathtaking. You found your purpose.
Sometimes, it takes a little faith and trust for you to start your journey. The age doesn’t matter; the point is to take the first step, and try.
Then, you can’t just give up halfway. You’re almost there.
And then, before you know it, you’re taking huge risks, jumping at each opportunity. Because you’re running out of time.
If you don’t try, how many times will the opportunity come knocking at your door before it disappears? The meadow won’t be there forever.
It’s not fear that defines you, it’s what you do to conquer it. For every step you take out of your comfort zone, it drives you nearer and nearer to success. It may not be all roses and sunshine but every single step matters. Sometimes you fall, and it sucks. But every rock is different, every current stronger – you learn and get better. Eventually, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful clearing and a new day to begin another journey.
What have you got to lose?