I am sitting here with a sore foot that seems to have resulted from a dream that I had just before waking this morning.
I dreamt that I was on an outward-bounds course. It was a running event that led up a mountain. The people that were also in the race had ages that I thought were around my own or somewhat older. This couldn’t be such a difficult run.
Once I got to the starting-line, things looked much different.
What greeted me was a sheer rock face that leant towards the absolute vertical rather than the sloping. There were footholds and handholds, but no ropes or safety equipment. Me and the others were expected to get a hold and climb up to the top, some fifty-metres above without additional support or reasurance. Just another Sunday outing.
As I am not a good climber, and have a fear of heights, making me understandably cautious. Our instructors showed no such apprehension. They were younger and this was something that they did weekend upon weekend. Indeed, the older folks who had taken their first steps seemed to be coping well. Encouraged by this apparent disregard for personal safety, I stretched up to gain a handhold and was pleased to find a rather convenient niche in the rock that allowed my right foot to slip in comfortably. With people queuing behind me, I set off, all the time trying not to notice the growing distance between me and the ground.
I think that the moment I became aware of the possibility of peril was when a woman lost her footing above me. She crazily scrambled for a new hold and managed it, right at the last. I was pushing myself into the rock so that I would not become entangled with her fall and couple with her on the long trip to eternity. My hands gripped more tightly and my right foot lodged itself so far into a hollow that it almost became part of the precipice.
I woke this morning and climbed out of bed with the same dream managing to cling to me in the same manner that I attempted to cling to the face of the mountain.
I swung my feet out from beneath the covers and planted the right one on the soft carpet of our bedroom floor. Instantly, it recoiled from the pressure that was placed upon it.
It seems that it had been lodged in the cliff-face for too long.