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Of Fear...

Tonight is the fifth night out of my normalcy. My routines. My surroundings, which are comfortable and customary. Tonight, I sit with a cup of hot tea as the cool, Washington breeze blows sympathetically and my curly hair dries in the night air.

I should be tired, but I am not. I just spent the last 36 hours away. Camping and exploring towns and trails and asking questions about the area as quaint towns popped up as the miles wore on.

It was wonderful. Everything except for 2 AM. You see, at 2 AM I was awake. Too much coffee too late in the evening necessitated a trip to the camp bathrooms which were about 100 feet away. They were easy to spot from our tent trailer but the grounds were full of obstacles. Logs. Rocks. Shrubbery. And the possibility of God-knows-what? Bears? Creepers lurking in the dark?

I talked myself into being brave and slipped my flip-flops on over my socks and prepared to venture out. The flashlight that was left by the door wouldn't turn on, so I flipped on the flashlight mode on my phone. The trailer door squeaked as I thrust it open and my chest caught with the sharp, unwelcome cold air. I stumbled towards my destination as my heart raced.

Upon attempting to return to camp - still terrified, of course - I couldn't see very well. My "flashlight" barely illuminated the area directly in front of me. I kept running into logs and shrubs. As I walked around them, I quickly ventured off course; veering away from my intended endpoint. I mean, we're talking about a person who gets turned around in a shopping mall.

When I finally emerged onto the asphalt loop, I couldn't see our site. At all. I know it wasn't rational, but it was the middle of the night and I was temporarily lost. In a forest. And I freaked out. For a few bleak seconds, terrible scenarios played through my mind. Then I remembered the sites were
numbered, found the stake of the number I was standing next to, and realized I was three sites
over. I walked to the right and eventually saw the camper. It was like Christmas Day.

After the adrenaline subsided, I wondered why I hadn't asked for help. I didn't want to bother anyone. I didn't want to wake anyone up, not even to ask how to use the the real flashlight.

Sometimes, you should ask for help.

And the other thing I took away from my excursion? Be brave. Don't let fear paralyze.

"Hope is the only thing stronger than fear." - Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

I have always adored the truth in that quote. It's time.

Sometimes, you will end up somewhere unexpected. And that's okay.

The trail narrowed and tree carcasses lined the path. In the distance, concrete pillars could be seen. The remnants of a bridge to cross the river. Rocks and logs blocked the other entrance from the road. This path was closed. But the trail? The trail continued on, leading brave people to unexpected places.

Be brave. Be fearless.

I want to be that person.

Yes, a person who hopes and trusts. Wherever I'm led.


Amy Smith said…
This is some of your best writing yet. I love your brand of brave. xo

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