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Posts Tagged ‘stairs’

What is it about stairs that appeals to me? Not that I like climbing them, as my hips and knees complain loud and long whenever I must. It’s the old, preferably abandoned outdoor flights of overgrown steps that make me stop and stare. I also love steps leading into the water. Oh, I really love those steps!
There is a neighborhood where I walk regularly, an old, historic area, with older houses. The roads are steep and winding hills. It’s a great cardio workout to hoof around there. And the landscaping of the old homes is always interesting. One thing most of them have in common is they are accessible by steep steps on one side and up a steep hill on the other side. I guess that’s how they designed neighborhoods years ago. steps 6  One of my favorite views

steps II 12-2016    steps  Steep climbingsteps 8  steps 5

steps 3  Any here you’d love to see the top of? steps 9   Or no way?Stairs 3

Very overgrown with ivy and kudzo.

 

stairs2228(1)  N-a-r-r-o-wThe Steps pic

This was in Galway Bay in Galway, Ireland. These sorts of entrances were quite popular. I am guessing people came in on larger boats, and took small rowboats/hookers from there to the land, using these types of stairs to cross over.

I think stairs represent something in our lives: a connection from where we are emotionally or physically to where we want to be or think we should be. Perhaps we’re trying to climb the ladder of success. That is easily seen in a flight of steps. Maybe we’re thinking we should have made another choice somewhere along the line. The flight of steps indicates where we are now compared to where we could have been. Or want to be. Thus steps are narrow, steep, long and winding, short and maintained, overgrown, etc… all dependent on how we view the journey. It is just a few footsteps away or the path of a thousand miles?

I also wonder if flights of staircases are indicative of our lives. Do tidy, well maintained staircases appeal to us? Does that mean we keep our lives tidy and well maintained? What about the overgrown, unassailable steps? Does it indicate our hearts?  Some here are lined in even blocks of concrete and others are stacked from natural stone. Some are edged in moss and others are kept free. Just like people, there are staircases to fit every house and personality.

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What is it about a set of steps? I can’t pass an old set of steps without feeling some form of emotion. Longing. Hope. Desire. Wistfulness. Excitement. Curiosity. The ones that call to me the most, the loudest, are the old mossy stairs that led into bodies of water like a lake or river or up into shrouded woods.

46dca0c0beac2f5d617b877b7dc757b2 I absolutely love the gate at the bottom of this one I found on Pinterest. I’d love a chance to climb up and feel the cold stone wall beneath my fingers.

 

I suppose it’s in part the mystery they offer my dreamy brain. I can conjure up all the people who might have traveled up and down those steps over the decades…centuries. What their agendas might have been. Whether they raced along their path or trod slowly with heavy feet. What awaited at their destination. For a writer, that kind of stuff is inspirational fodder for a writing prompt.

And it’s also what they offer. Steps are a way to get from where we are now and either go up  ‘there’ or down ‘there’. It’s the chance to leave the place we are and go to something different. Better? Surely so, or else why bother going? Explore? Escape? Rendezvous?

The Steps pic

This is a photo of some concrete steps I discovered while visiting Ireland some years ago. In the port city of Galway, these were nestled near the bridge leading into a large river, flowing into the sea. I was memorized, and sat there for what surely my hosts considered entirely too long. Soon afterward, I scribbled this missive, trying to capture the emotions the sight stirred within my soul.

“The Steps”

It was a surprise to see them, discreetly tucked away by the bridge’s shadow. The concrete flights of stairs and wrought iron railing dressed  in green algae. 

Half buried in the water, leading into a dark abyss.Or are they a pathway, leading out of the cold depths instead?

Flowing down from the Lough Corrib. under the city’s stone grey bridge.Rushing now  in its hast to reach the openness of Galway Bay.

Gulls, geese and others fly overhead, swans gracefully paddle and people talk. Each ignorant or simply not caring about the steps leadong nowhere and somewhere.

These steps, they call to me, coaxing me to the water’s lapping. Staring into the dark fathoms they whisper, peer into the truth.

Why are they here? Where do they go? How far down till they end? My mind asks. But the honest answer is this: they represent a visible manifest of life’s highway.

My stairs, dark, along, silent and forgotten, they hold a coveted key. Where are we going? Where have we come from? They silently offer clues to those who seek.

Peering into the murky darkness of the river’s cold water I sit and speculate. She’s like another language. My hand holds her cold offering. I try to decipher it. I sense the presence of other souls.

Are they the souls who have perished in the cold ocean depths?Longing to return to port and sinking to a watery grave instead? Or are the souls of Galway visitors past, drawn to the stairs such as I…seeking? Listening?

I long to follow the stairs down beyond the water’s hem. Allow myself to sink softly into the cold, silent, dark depths. Perhaps in this watery, quiet world I’ll hear the answers to the questions of my heart.

What lies at the bottom of the steps? Like the limited boundaries of outer space. And the faithlessness ideas of undersea worlds. They are the spaces of earth off limits to us mortals, always to be a mystery.

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On my way to work, I pass a set of narrow wooden steps, built into a hillside and covered with moss. It’s doubtful they are used now, but the area is rich with history so I have to wonder why they were placed there. I suspect once the road was paved and became heavy with traffic, the need for climbing the hill ended and nature is slowly reclaiming the hill.

stairs2228This isn’t them, it’s a Pinerest find again. But I find this just as fascinating,  Why go up or down?

 

 

 

download(1) This is another photo of stairs going into water, from Pinterest. I wonder how cold the water is. Or warm? Do you go down to swim or meet a boat?

 

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