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
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