Sidewalk Circumstance ~ a poem
On my walk today I pause
for a worm crossing my path—
its outside the color
the whole surface of it engaged
in undulating motion,
an unhurried hurrying of self
And I wonder, what distant dream
drives its motivation?
with whether or not
If it were me,
raw skin against grit,
organs exposed to hungry eyes—
would I accept help?
have I lain desiccated
at the doorstep of salvation,
too stubborn to ring the bell?
I remain the slave to my reflection,
Do worms have pride?
And what of the robin
perched patiently on the fence?
Is one more deserving
than the other?
I know nothing of grander plans.
How trusting—to leave lives
in the hands of chance.
I don’t suppose
would stop street-side for me.
Suddenly, I find myself
thankful for both
feet and frontal lobe.
©Skye Nicholson 2022
As I sink into my couch, inert and irritable once again, I read, over and over, this poem I wrote a few days ago. I know the words are trying to tell me something, but whatever-it-is keeps swirling out of reach.
My husband comes bounding in, annoyingly cheerful after his morning walk and workout, and has the nerve to suggest that perhaps I should do the same. I squint out the window. Spring sunshine reflecting off early frost blinds my retinas and I return to the screen.
I am in my jammies. There is not enough coffee. I am trying to write, I mutter in his direction, wishing he would get the hint and be less…motivating.
My frontal lobe is uncooperative.
I glance at the window again, sigh, and grab the dog and my tennis shoes.
About halfway around the block, I have to laugh at myself: my creaky hips begrudgingly stretch with each step, my body awakens, and my mood is instantly lighter. I realize what the worm poem was telling me.
Suddenly, I find myself thankful for both feet and frontal lobe.
We don’t have to decide between drowning in a puddle or dying in the sun. We can ask for help. We can weigh the pros and cons. We can pick ourselves up and move away from a crappy situation. And I can get off my ass and walk around the block in the morning! There is always another side of the sidewalk.
It is springtime, and it is time to EMERGE – to harness the internal power we each possess and decide: what do we want our lives to look like? How do we want to feel each day when we wake up? We are each capable of making the choices necessary to achieve our best lives. We are NOT horizontal, spineless, inside-out creatures.
We can become aware of the thoughts we think that keep us stuck AND CHOOSE NEW ONES. It is as simple as that. Not EASY, of course… it takes WORK to use those feet and frontal lobes we’ve been gifted with – to shift our trajectory, to get moving, to align ourselves with the life we want to live. But it is as simple as, sometimes, getting off our asses and walking around the block in the sunshine. Or noticing how we talk to (or about) ourselves.
I am no longer the stubborn worm, covered in grit and squishable, believing myself unworthy of greatness. I am willing to stand up, and accept that my feet are capable of carrying me into the life of my dreams. I am ready to choose to celebrate each day and direct myself with grace and positivity.
Skye Nicholson is a This Naked Mind certified Empowerment and Recovery Coach. She founded Soul’s Truth Coaching LLC in 2021 and helps women rediscover their inner power through group and one-on-one coaching services. Her first book of collected works Unexpected Alchemy: Poems of Addiction and Awakening, is available on Amazon.
“Sidewalk Circumstance” was first published in The Lark on medium.com