"Take a step, take a risk, speak your mind, try something new" she whispers.
"But I'm afraid. Everyone will laugh. No one will understand. I might fall or fail" I murmur with my eyes downcast and my chin lowered to my chest.
Gently she lifts my head with her delicate fingers. Peering into my eyes she assures me I am not alone, that I am strong enough.
She reaches out her hand waiting to see if I will take it. She never forces, never drags me forward -- she only offers a choice.
When I am brave enough to accept her proffered hand, she walks with me, sometimes ahead sometimes beside me and I am not alone. Sometimes we walk in the dark. Sometimes we tread through icy streams. Sometimes people do laugh, and often no one understands. I do fall and fail.
But with every step of the journey I find courage. I grow stronger. And eventually the sun dawns, lightening the dark. We stop to rest awhile on a new plateau, heaven's table land?, higher ground.
And then she whispers again.