A Love Story

How Do I Love Thee, My Little Hiking Sticks?

Let me count the ways.

Amy Strommer
Middle-Pause
Published in
2 min readFeb 12, 2024

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Photo by Julie Yost

How do I love thee, my newly bought hiking sticks?
Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and elevation (or slight incline)
My soul can attempt.

When overcome with the need to get off my butt and out the door. I love thee to the level of every day’s most quiet need, to keep me vertical on the trail instead of horizontal.

Dusty and crying and horrified on the ground.

I love thee freely as I lean on your strength and solid connection when I trip, and you catch me at the last second and I avoid the multiple rocks scattered about the ground.

I love thee purely, as I know you are doing your job to keep me from fracturing my wrist or pelvis and what’s left of my pride.

I love thee with my passion put to use on the trail because that seems to be the only place I find passion these days.

I love thee with a love bestowed on inanimate objects, like stuffed animals from childhood but with more affection because those objects could not save my life.

I love thee with my heavy breathing, frequent smiles, and occasional grimaces in pain, and with only one or two tears for my lost strong muscles and smooth skin.

And if you, my sturdy hiking sticks, cooperate.

I shall but love thee better for preventing me from tripping and falling off a cliff to a premature death.

Oh, my little hiking sticks, how I do love thee!

Thanks to Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Amy Strommer lives in San Diego where she dreams about writing between naps, having a clean house, and reading the 17 books stacked on her nightstand. Find her on Twitter @AmyStrommer and Instagram Amy_Strommer and AmyStrommer.com.

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Amy Strommer
Middle-Pause

Amy dreams of writing between her naps, having a clean house, and reading the 17 books stacked on her nightstand. She's an optimist. AmyStrommer.com