Am I Imprisoned?


I thrive on being outside; walking in nature, rambling around, thinking and just looking.  It’s normal to feel so centered and derive so much happiness from nature–I’ve read more than one study saying how necessary nature is for our well being.

Today I was hiking at Waterfall Glen with one of my girlfriends.  It was a nice chance to catch up with her and get some good exercise, but I was alert, as always, when outside.  I noticed a man behind us who had stopped and was looking through binoculars into the trees.  I kept looking back checking on him, and I did not like it that every time we stopped he stopped and swung those binoculars up, looking into those trees again.  I was sizing him up, and sizing up the situation.  I found myself running over self defense moves in my mind.  It did not give me peace of mind to know that we would have to hike the entire nine mile circle or else we would need to turn back at some point and pass him again.  And I thought how sad it is that in order to stay safe I cannot go where I would like to go, and do what I would like to do.  Who knows the person I could be, or might become if I never had to worry about my personal safety so much when out of my home?  I might become the best version of me possible and I might be completely different.

As I think about this, I know that there are millions of people in the world who are completely without freedom, and in terrible situations. How much human suffering and lost potential exists in our world!  I try to always count my blessings, and to remember what it would be like to be as tortured as many are.  Still, I am sad for what cannot be for me because of my gender…


Author: jet197

A Spanish speaking elementary resource teacher, single mom with two grown kids and a pasión for the outdoors and books. I am a big curious question mark always pondering with a penchant for poetry.

8 thoughts on “Am I Imprisoned?”

  1. What a scary moment! I often think similar things as I run by myself, even in the familiar streets and parks by my house. I’m sorry you felt unsafe. Thank you for reminding us of the “big picture” of safety and freedom. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Wow, that’s scary. I’m going to assume since you are here to write this Slice that you are okay! I loved this part:

    Who knows the person I could be, or might become if I never had to worry about my personal safety so much when out of my home? I might become the best version of me possible and I might be completely different.

    Really gave me something to think about, and I think it’s something to consider. I think, as a mom, we balance this all the time – letting our children be who they are meant to be yet also keeping them safe.


    1. Thank you for reading. The orld has changed since I was child. My mother grew up wandering the woods with her faithful dog, and she let us go wherever the wind blew us when we were children. That’s probably where my urge to explore and curiosity came from. Thank you for reading.


  3. The questions you ask are so poignant and relatable. While I’m sure there are women who never worry about these things, this particular woman definitely could relate – no matter when I was growing up in a rural area, living in the city, and now living in the ‘burbs, one thing doesn’t change: it’s dangerous for women everywhere. Thanks for sharing your story.


  4. Wow, it can be scary, but thankful you are okay. I think it was best to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings, but difficult to just focus on conversation with a friend. And you are right, it is sad … why can’t we just live our lives without this worry or always looking over our shoulder?


  5. I kept expecting the story to shift, that you were really setting us up, and that you finally saw some really cool bird or birds fly out of a high tree. In the end, did you turn around when you were ready to? What would the ‘best version’ of you be?


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