Last night I took out the trash from our kitchen (something I do much more often now that diapers have entered the scene). It was dark and as you walk out our back door, you have to go down the two flights of stairs to get to the driveway where the trash cans are tucked away under the trees. Usually the top flight of stairs are somewhat litâ€”whether itâ€™s the moon or the generic city â€œlightâ€ or the lights from neighbors houses, I can always see comfortably at the top. Once I get to the bottom stretch of stairs, the visibility has almost disappeared, and I am always very anxious about tripping, missing a stair, rolling my ankle, whatever. When carrying some large item, like the baby carrier or a big box of recycle, this feels especially scary.
Our landlord who lives below us has a motion sensor light that comes on when you get to the very bottom. It lights up our back parking area quite well and I can make my way to one of our cars or to the trash cans with ease. But, it will not trigger until you have come to almost the last stair.
Every time I go out there at night I have the same experienceâ€”I walk cautiously down our steps, growing increasingly afraid as I near the bottom, until I get to the point where I feel like I cannot take another step because I just plain canâ€™t see. And just when I think I canâ€™t go any further, I step down into the darkness and the unknown and boom, that motion light kicks in and all is well.
Now, I do this often enough that you would think I would quit being afraidâ€”that I would know the light is coming and that it will show me where I need to go. But every time it is the same storyâ€”anxiety, hesitation, disbelief that the light will work THIS time, even though it has always been faithful before.
I am at a funny place in my life right now. I sometimes feel like things seem a bit like the journey down my back staircaseâ€”I canâ€™t see where I am stepping; Iâ€™m not sure that I will make it; I wonder if the Light will come on and show me where to put my feet.