playing on heights

woman walking on pathway between rocks
Photo by Trace Constant on

The arms can circle like the spokes

Of a paper windmill in the seaside shop,

Trying to regain a steadiness

To overcome that awful sense of gravity

And its earthly pull towards the ground

Where bodies crumple in a shattered mess.

Yet still we let the children run along

The ramparts of a kingly castle,

Swing from branches of the royals oaks

But all that I can do is turn my eyes

Away from whirling arms and then

The piercing scream that follows

That grossly hollow thud.

Does anyone else have a real fear of heights, but not for your own sake but for others? I am a bit scared of heights for myself but I am absolutely terrified when I watch other people playing around anywhere near the edge.

I realised that I had a bit of a problem when I went to Paris with my swimming club when I was fourteen. We went to see the Eiffel Tower and we stopped to take photos in front of it. There was a really high wall and one of my friends jumped up on it and started to walk along it.

I literally begged her to get down because my mind kept thinking that she was going to trip and fall over the edge. I could feel my palms sweating and my heart beating way too fast and I was on the brink of tears I felt so frightened.

Since having Noah I have come to realise that I also cannot watch children playing on climbing frames for the same reason. Watching them take crazy risks is just too much for me and I have to sit with my back to the equipment to save myself from becoming one of those crazy helicopter parents.

And then tonight I was watching TV and someone was playing on the edge of a building and I thought I was going to die. It’s probably the thing that I’m most afraid of and I wish that I wasn’t so worried about it. It might be because I’m afraid of broken bones and I have a feeling that falling from a great height will lead to just that.

Isn’t it strange the things that we are most afraid of in life?

Much Love

Rachel xx

7 thoughts on “playing on heights

  1. Margot Kinberg

    I know what you mean. There is just something about heights that can bring out an elemental fear in us, isn’t there? And as you say, it’s not just fear for ourselves (not that that isn’t there), but fear for others. Perhaps it’s a self-protective sort of mechanism?

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