Posts Tagged ‘lighthouse’

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Upside down or downside up? A question pertinent to this picture and sometimes life. I had excitedly started to climb these stairs inside the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse. Yet, as I climbed only a few steps a feeling of trepidation started to wash over me. A couple more steps and  the feeling became a big wave of panic. I really tried to press on, keeping in mind the prize at the top of those 203 steps: a panoramic view of Daytona Beach. No dice. A fog of ridiculous fear enveloped me and try as I might, the grip of panic was too strong.  My body was failing me – ignoring my rational mind’s directions. I found out it is quite difficult to walk up stairs on quaking knees. I was now in the throes of a fight or flight response and no longer capable of countering the flood of adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline coursing through my bloodstream. Despite a death grip, sweating palms easily slid along the cool metal railing as I shakily gave in to my sympathetic nervous system and descended back to terra-oh-so-thankfully-firma. My fear is not so much of heights but of falling so this episode of panic insanity inside the lighthouse was surprising and perplexing. I would not stand at the top of the 175-foot lighthouse with my back pressed hard against the tower as I have other times at other lighthouses. The acrid taste of defeat was still with me as I looked up to watch the others in my party ascend to my now out of reach brass ring. Standing there with my head cocked back like a Pez dispenser I saw the marvelous spiral…appearing like a giant equiangular spiral. The type of spiral found in nature like a nautilus shell or the tasty apple green Romanesco broccoli. Of course it isn’t really one because it doesn’t increase like the Spira mirabilis. In actuality the spiral staircase is a helix. Perspective is such a persnickety thing, just like life. I chose what made me feel comfortable that day I faced ascending the helix. The prize for successfully reaching the top was not great enough to outweigh the awful feelings I was experiencing that day.  Next time, if it presents itself, I may have a different perspective.  The prize may be enough to forge ahead no matter the discomfort.  Funny phenomenon tomorrow is, huh?

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