AT THE WATERCOURSE

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On a certain hot day on my way to the house of the children I gave home-lessons, I thought deeply as I walked through this route that served as a short cut to their house. Along this route was a really big watercourse, very wide and pretty deep, more like a canal only there were no cemented walls, nor was there any bridge to cross over, except a very narrow log that was placed at the bottom of the watercourse, for crossing over the water. It was the quickest way from Atika area just after where I lived to Mesa where the children’s house was. And unless you could afford to ride several kilometers across the highway, this passage way was your only option.

On this fateful day, as I approached the watercourse, I remembered my first experience along this path. A friend, Tess was taking me to this family that needed someone to tutor their academically backward kids who had spent most of their earliest years out of school. I loved helping kids, so this was a really exciting opportunity for me.

As Tess and I walked down after getting off a taxi, she started to prepare my mind for the journey ahead. Spotting the watercourse from afar, I had concluded she was simply trying to make a joke when she mentioned that it was our only means of getting across. “Oh, there’s got to be a bridge somewhere,” my die- hard optimistic self thought. As we drew closer, the depth of the passage way became more obvious and being so acrophobic {afraid of heights} and bathophic altogether {afraid of depths}, I took a deep breath and looked around,but there was no bridge, none at all. I stopped and asked, “What exactly are you doing? Is this a joke or something?” “Just follow me” she said.

Her persistent nudging kept me going until I got close enough to see the full view of the watercourse, “No way Tess, this is impossible I screamed”. Tess went on without looking back. As I watched her go, I couldn’t understand what was going on, “what was she thinking? …did she bring me here to watch her commit suicide, cos I’m so not ready to die?” “Tess, this is crazy” I screamed. “Stop!, just stop, this is suicide!” Tess looked back and laughed, “Ok then, just watch me go” she said.  Tess began to explain the plan, she pointed to a narrow path that was hidden in between bushes down the slope and explained that it was possible to climb down the slope through that path, cross over the water through that very narrow log of wood that was not even wide enough to take your both feet standing side by side, and climb up again to the other side. I thought, oh! That probably makes sense, but not today! As I turned to leave, she grabbed my hand and said, “c’mon, you can do this”

I could feel the hot sweat run down my fore-head as Tess held me tightly and pulled me down the sloppy narrow path. We got to the bottom of the slope and still holding my hand tightly, she said, ”just watch me go”. She let go of my hand and walked carefully over the narrow log of wood, step after step until…

From this memory came my lifelong lesson, our fears will forever limit us from taking bold steps that would lauch us into promotion. We must learn to take bold, but cautioned steps, face them and before we know it, we’re on the other side, the side of success, the side of freedom.

The moment I took my last step up the other side of the watercourse, I felt like I was soaring, like I had just had a breakthrough, like a hero. That feeling was so damn good. I stood for a while and observed the journey so far, I looked down into the depth of the ditch I had just crossed through, I looked far to the other side where my fears all began, where I first told myself, this was impossible. I couldn’t imagine that I had just done this. I thought I was a die-hard optimist, but this time, it really did seem not just totally impossible, but out rightly suicidal. I looked in the face of fear and phobia, and screamed, “I did it!” And yes, it felt good. I was so ready for my new job.

I grinned as I remembered that experience. It was such a memorable one. As I drew closer to the passage way on this particular day, my reminiscent thoughts were immediately interrupted by the sight of…

To be continued…

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