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REUNION | Thursday, 28 May 2015 | Views [347] | Comments [2] | Scholarship Entry

Fear and I have been roommates for years. Like a mother, Fear has bundled me into whool and cells, made a cocoon out of me. Fear took care of me because she only knew best. She throttled each scream, she padlocked each tear. She spruced and tuck each dream, each star, away in a dusty corner of my head and she put up billboards stating « Beware the Bitch, keep away ». Fear taught me to be proud to be afraid. To find elaborate excuses, sometimes admirable, often creditable. Sleeping with Fear for so long made her this old wife I didn’t even glance at, nor would dare to talk back to. You are right Dear, I am worthless. But yesterday, I finally looked her in the eye. They told me that it would be an easy hike. They said only 4 hours, when it took us 9. To be fair, I should have considered that my walking buddies were both army veterans. Mafate "col des boeufs" hike is not for the faint heart. None of the hikes in La Réunion island are. 900m altitude change of steep descents and ascents. 15km of heart pounding, heavy breathing and cold sweat. And even with tears in my eyes and my heart on the edge of a precipice, I hung on, shivering. Each step was a life lesson, revealing both a more breathtaking landscape and a piece of myself. During that day, you will witness sunlight like you have never seen it, brushing a deserted plateau out of a fairy tale, infusing branches and mosses, making them glow and sometimes sparkle. Those white trunk tamarind trees keep growing after being half uprooted during cyclones. People living in the small, quiet and colorful village of La Nouvelle climb the mount twice a week for no animal nor car could make the trip. But why would they leave, when they get to sleep in the clouds ? I learned a lot that day. I didn’t know my own frontiers, until I climbed the last stair. Yet, to the father who scold me and told me a fearful one should not mount mountains, I can now answer. All the more, you who are terrified, who feel unqualified, disqualified for the indispensable and the dispensable : go ahead, ascend, climb up a mountain. Close your eyes, or open them. Take a deep slow breath. Put one foot in front of the other. I believe in you, even when you are a stranger. As long as you put this foot in front of you, no mountain shall withstand. I still have a long lease with Fear, I will stop along the way and doubt many a time. Nevertheless, under each step will remain the unwavering ground of completion from this day in Mafate.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

Comments

1

I love the way you write, ‘ love what you wrote, ‘ love your approach. I am deeply moved and I have you to thank for. ‘grateful for this great experience!

  howdeep May 31, 2015 6:44 AM

2

@howdeep Thank you so much ! It's one of the first time I've shared a story in English and the first time here. My French is more fluent, but being able to write with the same style in English is one of my personal goal. If someone is reading, I will definitely post more in the future !

  melissandrel May 31, 2015 11:04 PM

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