Gateway to the Outdoors – [a poem for Lyrical Sunday]

Red Rocks Coastal Walk 1

Our gateway to the outdoors is guarded these days,

By children who test us in various ways.

We start with encouragement and gentle persuasion –

Trying to resist bribery and coercion.

We are often surprised by who resists –

And struggle to find the solution to enlist.

Eventually, after tears and raised voices,

We all file out through the gateway united –

As one in body, but not all with a willing heart.

Red rocks coastal walk

It is then, when we find ourselves, on the outdoor path –

That our hearts pull together and at tears we can laugh.

“Why was I afraid? Why so reluctant?” she asks…

Why so anxious of the gateway to the outdoors?

Red rocks coastal walk 2

Now the most resistant one runs ahead,

Her legs striding out with ease to take the lead.

She climbs upon boulders with mountain goat ease,

She leaps over streams running out to the sea.

The anxiety that was so potent before –

Is transformed into energy now she’s outdoors.

Red rocks coastal walk 3

But now that our goal is half met,

resistance comes from another source.

One that was positive to break through the gateway,

Has run out of steam and lost her way.

In the outdoors we learn to expect the unexpected,

Yet it is hard when the joy is exhausted.

Our eyes seek to rest on the scene we strode out for –

But are tugged away by one who is weakened.

Seals at red rocks coastal walk

We’d set out with strength, to carry one little one…

Young Alice having a ride on the 8km walk

But had not expected to be carrying a second one…

on the return

She had run the first 4km with all her strength,

Leaving nothing left to fuel her return.

A lesson learned, one we all remember learning –

But finding our pace takes practice and stamina builds with time.

So, we did it at last, broke through the gateway to the outdoors –

It’s not as easy with children – but oh what a legacy –

To grow to love, to grow in strength, determined to persevere for the goal is clear,

The outdoors is a treasure that is free to love –

Just break through the gateway.


© Sarah Lee, 2012


Lyrical Sunday