Snakes, Sharks, and Ghosts
When I first met my wife I introduced her to hiking. She'd been on a few short hikes, but not as a serious pursuit. Hiking is one of my favorite activities and I needed her to enjoy it if we were to spend a lot of time together. It provides a great deal of my physical exercise, quiet, solitude, and is often a spiritual experience for me.
On our first few hikes together I noticed that she always lagged way behind me. At first I thought that maybe she was just taking her time and appreciating the scenery, but watching her I noticed that she was walking hesitantly and watching every step. I laughed and asked "What are you doing?" "Looking for snakes" she said.
She later went on to tell me that she would like to enjoy hiking but she spent the whole time worrying about snakes. It was as if she expected a snake to be hiding behind every bush or rock, waiting for her to come passing by. I explained to her that unless we were hiking in a particularly snaky area, there was no point in worrying. I typically only saw two or three snakes a year and very rarely were they poisonous.
While fearing snakes is quite natural and can perhaps be beneficial, worrying about them all of the time can ruin a perfectly good hike.
I live near the sea and although I frequently take walks on the beach, I never go into the ocean more than knee-deep. Recently someone asked me if I surfed or went snorkeling. I replied that I was afraid of sharks. It later occured to me that there are only a few shark attacks each year - in the whole world - with millions and millions of people enjoying the water. I was more likely to die choking on my dinner than from a shark attack. It was then that I realized that sharks weren't keeping me out of the ocean - ghosts were.
Are there any ghosts in your life?
Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful Living
Posted by Dan Garner