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Abby's Angle  Image

Abby's Angle

Taking the next step
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Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

Abby’s Angle

02 Sep 2020

Taking the next step

By Abby Crawford

I saw a little “inspo” cartoon the other day, and it has not left my mind.

It really looked more like an illustration from an old-fashioned book, just a black and white line drawing of a child on a horse trying to make their way down a rocky path through the forest.

The child had its left hand clenched on the reins and its right hand to its forehead trying to see ahead through the storm that had leaves and branches flying around, clouding the view and the rain was bouncing off their bodies. The child said to the horse, “I can’t find the path out of this”’ and the horse (because it’s a cartoon, so it could talk) replied, “Well, can you see the next step in front of you?” “‘Yes,” said the child. “Well just take that step”. And that is extremely simple yet wise advice.

Sometimes we can’t see the path out of things, we are not sure where the path is and we worry we will fall. Sometimes it’s fear of just a stumble, but other times it feels that there is a cliff to fall off if we aren’t careful. The storm around is usually provoked by the unknown, we can’t see the horizon, we can’t see the path to take. And right now, that relates to what a lot of us are going through. We aren’t sure if businesses will survive, we aren’t sure when we can see family and friends, and we sure as heck aren’t sure if we will be planning any overseas travels for years to come. And it feels like there’s nothing we can do about it.

It’s like a storm cloud just hanging above our heads, and we look up wondering what these threatening clouds are going to deliver – it is easy for our feet to stumble as we try to walk through the storm. It’s hard to stay positive when it feels that bad news can come pouring down on us without a moment’s notice.

It feels like we are always holding our breath. And that’s when I think of the wisdom of the horse. Just focus on the steps that you can see, and you can see the very next step to take. I have been doing exactly this, just waking up and focusing on “today”. And when today offers a few potentially stressful unknowns and I’m unsure what the outcome will be, then I focus on just the next hour. I focus on the fragrant coffee beans of my morning coffee, I close my eyes with that first sip and just enjoy that moment. I write a list of things to be done and focus on just the one task I’m working on – like now for example, as I write I am imagining this column being read by you, I am wondering if it will make you smile thinking of a horse speaking to you, I am hoping that you will find some comfort knowing we all just need to focus on … the next step.

And if we focus on the next step, and just keep stepping and if we help each other to just keep taking the next step, one day the storm will pass. And we won’t look at our feet, we will look at the beautiful forest around us and the path will be clear and the air will be fragrant and full of the beautiful sounds of life – birds singing, bees buzzing - and we won’t have to focus on one step at a time. We will run, freely, happily to our long-awaited destinations.

I can’t wait to run to the arms of my grandmother, I can’t wait to run to the ocean, I can’t wait to run into the rest of my future ...

Hang in there Docklanders, the storm will pass.

Until next month, Abby x •

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