A Poem: Snowshoeing Through Life

I put on snowshoes. They were big and flat and lined with spikes.
I walked across the snow in them. Do you know what that was like?
Like life and all its challenges - some deep, some soft, some tough.
Like knowing you could sink at any moment... or walk on, just keep trying.

A darkness kept me company and it made the snow grey.
It forced me to switch my head torch on, showing me the way.
Some steps were in a straight line - neat, precise and narrow.
Some steps were scattered around - deep, misaligned or shallow.
Other steps made me sink, sink to my knees; I got stuck.
Others caused me to float on an uncertain surface; a stroke of good luck.

A darkness kept me company though brightened by a small light.
The sun not rising at all that day, didn’t mean things weren't bright.
Because the small beam from my head torch - regular, reliable and round,
Showed me what to focus on, and to forget all other sounds.
For when I focused on one step at a time, whether it was shallow or deep,
I realised that the steps got easier, even when the mountain became steep.

I covered a lot of ground in the snowshoes that day. I sank, I floated, I climbed.
I took a lot of steps in those snowshoes that day. Just like I do in life.
All I needed to do was look where I was going and to take it one step at a time.
So that’s what I did. Just like I do in life.

First photo by Emma Sleight.

Frances M. Thompson

Londoner turned wanderer, Frankie is an author, freelance writer and blogger. Currently based in Amsterdam, Frankie was nomadic for two years before starting a family with her Australian partner. Frankie is the author of three short story collections, and is a freelance writer for travel and creative brands. In 2017, she launched WriteNOW Cards, affirmation cards for writers that help build a productive and positive writing practice. When not writing contemporary fiction, Frankie shops for vintage clothes, dances to 70s disco music and chases her two young sons around Amsterdam.
Find Frankie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

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