Hope and Promise

Winding steps

Of hope and promise-

Reach for the sky.

I don’t know

Where the path will lead-

But still I climb.

My reward

Is pain or beauty-

The choice is mine

Stairs at Natural Bridge State Park (AZ)
Stairs at Natural Bridge State Park (AZ)

I’ve always been drawn to stairs and pathways.  I’m often urged to stop and snap a photo.  To me, they are a promise of things yet to come.  They are my future.  They hold the mystery of something new.  Even when I have seen what’s at the end of the stairs, the view is different each time because my perspective constantly changes.

Sometimes I get discouraged when the stairs don’t seem to end.  It feels like I’ll never get to where I want to be, so I pause for rest.  When I glance behind me, I am reminded of how far I’ve traveled.  Stairs get tiring, but I’m stronger after climbing them.  That urges me to continue.

When I reach the top, what to do is my choice.  I can rub my aching feet and complain about my sore legs, or I can take in a view I wouldn’t have seen if the journey had not been taken.

Sometimes I choose to focus on my pain.  Other times, I choose the view.

Natural Bridge State Park (after descending under the bridge, then climbing out the other side)
Natural Bridge State Park (after descending under the bridge, then climbing out the other side)

26 thoughts on “Hope and Promise

  1. SuziCate June 5, 2013 / 4:30 AM

    It’s much nicer to focus on the view rather than the pain…and you sure have some scenic beauty where you live.

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2013 / 7:04 AM

      You’re right, SuziCate – it is much nicer to focus on the view…sometimes I do forget that, though 🙂

      I’m glad you like the views!

  2. nrhatch June 5, 2013 / 5:56 AM

    Wonderful poetic prose, Janna. I’m with you . . . I often stop to photograph stone steps and pathways as they meander out of sight, urging me forward.

    “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” ~ Heraclitus

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2013 / 7:06 AM

      Great – I’m not the only one with a fascination of pathways! Thanks for sharing the quote, Nancy. It’s exactly the idea I wanted to convey 🙂

  3. Debbie June 5, 2013 / 10:32 AM

    And what a beautiful view that is! I like the promise of stairs, too.

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2013 / 7:08 AM

      I’m glad you like the view, Debbie! Here’s to the promise of stairs 🙂

  4. rebecca2000 June 5, 2013 / 1:32 PM

    So lovely. Maybe that explains why my daughter keeps going up and down the stairs in my house.

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2013 / 7:11 AM

      Thanks, Becca! With kids, it’s different…I think they like to go up and down stairs to hear their feet clomping. That’s how it is with my boys, anyway!

  5. diannegray June 5, 2013 / 1:54 PM

    Every step is worth it, Janna. I absolutely love your beautiful prose 😀

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2013 / 7:12 AM

      Thanks for the nice comment, Dianne! I know steps are worth it, but when I’m tired, sometimes I get cranky about it.

  6. vishalbheeroo June 5, 2013 / 2:16 PM

    Stairs are like the journey of life when we gotta take a call:)

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2013 / 7:13 AM

      🙂 It’s not all about the destination–the journey can be meaningful, too. Thanks for reading, Vishal!

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2013 / 7:13 AM

      Yes – choice is all ours! Thanks for reading, Widdershins.

  7. knotrune June 6, 2013 / 5:47 AM

    I have two whole Pinterest boards of pics of doors, paths, steps, bridges etc 🙂 (Two because I pinned so much to one that it was getting too big!)

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2013 / 7:18 AM

      I thought I was odd to be so fascinated by them. I may still be odd for other reasons, but I’m glad to find out I’m in such good company of others who like paths! Thanks for sharing your comment, Knotrune!

  8. Imelda June 6, 2013 / 8:32 AM

    I am ambivalent about steps – especially if they are too many. 🙂 One, I am afraid of heights, so I take them only as a matter of necessity. I guess one loses a lot of good views when one has a fear like mine. 🙂

    Your poem speaks of promise and possibilities. 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2013 / 11:04 PM

      I can relate to your fear of heights, Imelda. I used to break into a sweat climbing up a ladder 🙂 Well, ladders still scare me a bit, but hiking up a mountain doesn’t phase me much (unless it comes to scaling slippery rocks, which we did recently.)

  9. cssdoitwell June 6, 2013 / 2:50 PM

    I wish I could post a picture of these steps I took at a Buddhist Temple in Korea. I took the shot as the stairs went up. They’re flanked by these small elaborate pillars that stand beside each step. Anyway, I had the same feeling of a journey taking place; a journey with an end. Sometimes I take pictures of train tracks and as they go on forever, they remind me of eternity which I believe in. However, I can appreciate the finality in stairs. No one wants to wander on forever. Thanks for your poem! It reminds me that whatever the path, the destination is mine to make despite how I may feel otherwise.

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2013 / 11:09 PM

      That temple sounds beautiful, Cssdoitwell. Whether we go by stairs or train, or alternate between them, it’s still a journey 🙂 I don’t encounter train tracks often, but I suspect that if I did, I’d be taking pictures of them as well! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my poem.

  10. pattisj June 7, 2013 / 10:09 AM

    The steps in the photo do beckon one to come see what is offered.

  11. agjorgenson June 10, 2013 / 2:19 PM

    Well done! The photo works so well with the poem, and the prose nicely invites us to consider our own response to stairs.

    • jannatwrites June 10, 2013 / 8:22 PM

      I’m glad it encouraged reflection, Allen. Thanks so much for reading!

  12. pattyabr June 10, 2013 / 8:18 PM

    we all have to have hope to get through the day. I like the photo of stairs as it represents the journey. we feel part of the world because we are on a journey.

    • jannatwrites June 10, 2013 / 8:26 PM

      You put it well, Patty. I agree that hope is essential 🙂

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