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19 February 2006

Two Old Women

Once upon a time there were two old women discussing their lives and their years. One was named Fearful and the other Fearless. These women talked for hours about the ins and outs that their decades had brought them. They discussed the indelible marks that had been made, both good and bad, and of course, the moments they wished they could freeze and rewind, and those that they wished they could have erased.

Fearful often discussed her children, whom had since moved away from home and were raising families on their own. She kept in constant touch with them, especially after Mr. Fearful passed on. She needed that reassurance that everything was alright and was always ready to pass along advice that may, or may not, be needed.

Fearless discussed her children as well. She told stories of their adventures and misfortunes, and while worried about their safety, never inhibited their desire to fly to new heights and explore new lands. Fearful didn’t understand how Fearless could be so ‘careless’ about her children and she would get upset when Fearless hadn’t talked to them on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

One day Fearless stopped rocking in her chair and turned to face Fearful, who was both rocking and knitting furiously, discussing a recent worry about a child. She noticed that Fearless had stopped and was looking at her and she got very defensive. Immediately she glared at Fearless and said “I suppose you think that I am being silly and stupid again, don’t you! Well I am Fearful and not Fearless and that explains everything!” Fearful was very upset. Fearless thought for a moment and then spoke.

“Do you not notice that the only difference in our names is the ending and that it is the main word that we both share? We both have fear in us, but it is how we finish that fear that counts the most. There is nothing that says we both cannot be Fearless, because once upon a time, I was Fearful too. I was frightened that I may not do this right, or I may miss that, or something would be lost. That was until a wise old woman called Life sat me down. She said that there were very few things that I could do to make indelible marks on others lives, without making them on my own. So I learned to believe and trust in the practice of Roots and Wings. My fear is still present, but if I am secure that I have helped to establish their roots, good foundations, then I know that they will look at all the options before making their choice. If that choice made turns out to be not the best, then those same roots will allow for a place to come back to and regroup. Next are the Wings. Wings are tough because they involve flying with the possibility of falling. Again the Fear is present, but what a breathtaking view from the point of soaring above! That view is always bigger and better than the Fear that it began with”

Fearless sat back in her chair and began knitting again. Fearful sat for a long time and thought about what Fearless had just said.

“But I don’t know how to do that.” She said quietly.

“It’s a choice that we make at every instance. It’s not always easy, but it’s always something we can choose. Sometimes it seems impossible, but when you start small it gets easier.”

Fearless smiled at Fearful and saw a brief change in her – a freeing moment in her eyes. Perhaps a lesson had been learned.

By Andrea

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