Courage Is…

By Stephanie Arsoska of Beautiful Misbehaviour | @StephArsoska

Courage is not the burly beast

but the wee creature

the tiny word fluttering in your heart, whispering

Keep going

Courage is not the elegant eagle taking to the sky with wing and might

but the baby bird

flinging itself free from the nest for the first time to tumble towards the earth

Courage is not the rambling rose climbing the washed white cottage wall

but the cactus

Digging down deep into the dry desert sand

It is the mouse before the lion

David picking up his stone

The  mid-birth mother

It is the slow raise of an uncertain hand

the solitary walk across a crowded room

It is The Pen scratching against the paper

the click of send

It is opening your mouth to speak when the world is screaming hush

It is the hush

Sitting in silence with another

It is the neighbor who knocks

the hand that reaches out

it is


Courage is not the result

but the work

the burnt candle

The fingers spinning through the night

The spider

weaving, weaving, weaving

things of beauty she knows will never last

It is holding onto the wish

tending the dream

growing the garden in winter

It is keeping an eye on the stars

and knowing you are made from the same stuff

Courage wears funny clothes

says thing that don’t make sense

sounds weird, looks strange

Is ignored, disbelieved, ridiculed

has no friends, does not fit in

does not like to look in the mirror

but looks anyway

Courage is the battle cry before the fight begins

It is the tender touch

the delicate brush of faith

It is Anne in the annex

Rosa on the bus

Helen with the word water on her hand

It is the ordinary fire fighter at the foot of the burning tower

The student stood before the tank

The man who sparks a revolution with the flames of his own flesh

The mother who refuses to be silenced

It is the farmer in the field

breaking his back in all weathers

dirt under nail, blister in boot

It is sailing solo

round the world under the moon

in a tiny water-logged boat

It is the child who sees beyond the teacher,

and the teacher who really sees the child

Courage is the failure

The mess, the disaster

It shelters in the rubble at your feet

Nestles in the dust and the ash

It is the climb up the dirt track with no fence

Nothing to stop you falling into the water below.

Courage is in the cracks

The in-between

the deep breaths

the pause

the moment before

and the stillness after

Courage is in the being

in the making









day by day


of being


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stephanie arsoskaStephanie Arsoska is based in Scotland and blogs at where she writes about motherhood and creativity.