Truth never disappears

When I was a little girl I lived for a while with my grandmother in France. She lived on the second floor of an old house. I had a young friend who lived next door, and sometimes we played together until dark. I did not like to come home in the dark, but since there was a light switch at the bottom of the long staircase and another at the top to light the hall, I felt quite secure.

One dark winter evening after leaving my friend, I ran quickly inside, turned on the light switch at the bottom of the stears, and started to climb the stairs rapidly. When I was midway up the stairs, the light apparently burned out. The whole staircase seemed to have suddenly vanished into a big, black hole. I visualized myself falling into a deep, dark well just like Alice in Wonderland. Paralyzed by fear, I found myself completely unwilling to move at all.

I desperately wanted to reach my grandmother and reasoned that if the stairs were there before the light went out, they must still be there. All I had to do was trust my reasoning and climb the rest of the way in the dark until I could reach the light switch at the top. This I did, and of course I found that the stairs had never been missing at all.

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Forever free
January 9, 1978

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