So where were we……

Oh yeah….fear……

I am logical.

Fear is illogical.

Therefore, I am not fearful.

Ha- said the theorem guy.

I am afraid of heights.  More specifically, I’m afraid of falling.  As I am not a window washer or a trapeze artist, this does not impact me in my daily life.  I am able to food shop, clean (though my cleaning skills are debatable), walk my dog, etc- with no blips.  The time when this fear rears its angry head most often is when I am on vacation.

And you know I was just on vacation.

Let’s start with the lighthouse.  We went to visit Nobska Lighthouse in Falmouth.  It’s a beautiful, old lighthouse (1876), which normally affords a wonderful view of Martha’s Vineyard.  Due to technical difficulties (fog) we were unable to see MV, but it didn’t matter- the whole setting was beautiful.  Nobska is officially 40 feet high( though our guide told us 39- so, if I’m wrong- sorry- but I’m not fact checking any more than this)

Yeah, 40 feet, which is probably as tall as a giant, but not particularly tall.

So we climbed the first set of 15 steps.  15 spiral steps.  Did I tell you I don’t love tight spaces either?

And I made it to the first level.  Whew.

Then I realized there is a ladder to go up to the top- to see the actual light.  A tight, spiral ladder with very steep steps.  Miniscule handrail.  Ummmm- do I really need to see the light?  Could it be any different than the lightbulb in my house?  But- I waited for twenty minutes for the tour of the lighthouse, and the tour is only given once a week……so…….well I went up the ladder.

And I’m at the top- and the guide is telling us the history of the lighthouse- but I’m only half listening, because I am fixated on the tight, spiral ladder that is going to lead me down.  And the big first step.  With the tiniest of handrails.  That I have to descend backwards.  While I’m afraid of heights, tight spaces and falling.


Now I will freely admit, that this was not particularly high, nor tight, nor scary.  The ladder to the top was maybe 8 steps.  Toddlers and people in wheel chairs were able to handle this (no- not really- but you get the idea of how simple and non- terrifying this was)

And I told our guide that I might be joining him for the rest of the day, because I didn’t think I’d make it down.  I don’t think he was amused.

I took off my flip flops, because no one was meant to scale tight spiral ladders in flip flops….said a prayer to every deity I could think of….held onto the little handrail for dear life- and climbed down the arduous 8 steps.

When I made it to the bottom, shoes in hand- I high fived every one.  Not really- they were too busy thinking I was crazy.  Or they’d gotten a peak at my bright pink thing as I was descending the ladder.  Probably a combination of both, because as I was scared of this lighthouse, the sight of my backside in a hot pink thong is even scarier.

And now you’re thinking- how did someone who is afraid of heights go hiking in Acadia…..

Tune in tomorrow for the second part of my fearful life…..


19 thoughts on “Rationally Fearful- Part 1

  1. Cryyying….there is a lighthouse in Saginaw Bay that I climb every year for my daughter. But, quite possiby, the scariest thing I have done in life. Yes please, make only 1/4 of the stairs ‘standable’, I want to fall down the middle when I make a misstep, And I reallllly want to be able to see down *through* the steps to my death. And I dearly love climbing up through a tower as wide as a closet, to get to a room the size of a smaller closet.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Lolollll 😂😂 They seriously need to incorporate Switchbacks 101 in Lighthouse Design School. That’s a thing, right? I’ll find last years pix from it and show you, it’s awful…and I *get* to go again in three weeks. 😭😭😭😭

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I applaud you sincerely. I simply would have skipped the entire thing and found a nice rock to sit on while watching the sea and contemplating why anyone would want to climb up stupid spiral stairs AND a ladder. One of my biggest terrors lately is having to climb stairs -usually outdoor stairs- where the treads are open and you can see through them while climbing. I literally have a panic attack after the first 2 or 3 stairs.

    Liked by 2 people

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