Tread Lightly

While walking through an airport during a longish layover, I realized that I was hungry. Stepping off the main walkway into a restaurant, I suddenly became discombobulated. Whoa—just look at that floor!

Click on the photo to enlarge

I’ve never had vertigo, but I think I came close to it walking on this flooring that has the optical illusion of being three dimensional. A female diner who was watching me tread lightly smilingly said, “Take baby steps; I had to.” 

While waiting for my meal, I too started watching other people who entered to see if they had the same reaction as me. Sure enough, it only took moments, but other patrons—men and women, alike—began walking with caution too. The funny thing is, children who entered didn’t bat an eye!

When was the last time you had to tread lightly?


60 thoughts on “Tread Lightly

  1. I’m getting vertigo just looking at the picture! I like the idea of slowing us down but not getting us to fall over. I’m fascinated how the children were unaffected; they’re even closer to the ground. Or do they always look up and about, eager to find the new in life?! 😀

  2. As a waiter, I may figure out the owners of that restaurant could have had the floor made like that just to prevent children from rushing in, causing trouble to the personnel. But the goal has indeed failed!

  3. By the way, I really can’t recall the last time I had to tread lightly, for my life has been an endless rush and a fast-paced series of events. Even the months I was not working every day were hardships to me. So I long for a light tread, Laurie. I really do.

  4. I would definitely have vertigo walking on that floor. Very disconcerting as a floor choice. I trod lightly in nature taking care to leave only my foot prints. I’ve also taken care to tread lightly when I’ve encountered rickety bridges on walks. I tread lightly, or certainly have that intention, in moments of conflict. Sometimes, sadly, I “get hooked” or hijacked and tromp on the moment. Fortunately, the frequency of hijacked moments have reduced over time..

  5. This reminds me of when I wore my first pair of progressive lens glasses (the old bifocal lenses) and was told to be careful looking at the stairs as I walked down, cause they were gonna’ look all wonky. This floor is ten times worse!

  6. At first I had to tread lightly over the spongy floor sheathed with a jell-like substance underneath at the entrance to the preschool department. Kids love to hop on it, and I have since enjoyed the sensation of a “springy” walk.

  7. I think this applies to relationships in every day life, whether it be a spouse, a co-worker, a friend. Sometimes we can rush forward and sometimes it is wise to ‘tread lightly’.

  8. I’m treading lightly with some new spring/summer sandal clogs that I love, but need to get used to them. But the carpet–I wrote about visual issues for so many persons recently after hearing a severely impaired man talk about what he is doing to get architects and designers to create public spaces with all needs in mind. Readers may be interested, I certainly had my eyes opened to the hazards of a carpet like this!

  9. You’ve got me pondering again, Laurie, and I thank you. Like an earlier commenter, I take your question metaphorically. I tread lightly when talking to someone I don’t know well, particularly someone who is troubled. I try to phrase my questions to be encouraging and supportive without taking a stand. Hmmm, the metaphor thickens. Stand your ground, take a stand, be grounded … all seem opposite your tread lightly. (I keep wanting to add, “and carry a big stick” per Teddy Roosevelt.). Thanks for getting me pondering.

  10. I tread lightly when I spend money
    I think about what or who is affected with each purchase. Such as no palm oil to help the orangutan survive, rethreaded clothing to save water, very little plastic ( use my own bags and wash and reuse freezer bags, and I fo not shop at those stores that are trying to destroy our fabulous healthcare and public schools (Walmart and Hobby Lobby). We belong to a great CSA. We support local businesses. I work at treading lightly upon this earth.

  11. Wow! That floor is really changing shapes even in the picture! Thanks for a thought-provoking question Laurie…I often tell death to tread lightly…an excerpt from my poem:
    Come softly…tiptoe into my room
    Clasp me gently in my sleep
    I know you are not so nice
    But you can’t be cruel to me twice.

  12. That floor Laurie! Wow! I laughed about the children just zipping along giving it no notice.

    I am treading lightly in a relationship with a childhood friend whom I am extremely close to but haven’t spoken to regularly for the last couple of years, for no particular reason. It just felt we had said all we needed to say for a while. Now this person has stage iv cancer. It is treatable but there is no cure with average life expectancy about eight months from this stage of the disease. I am planning a tentative visit in the next few weeks. Yet, I want to tread lightly, step softly because our history is long and deep with some sore spots. I am asking myself – what is truly in the best interest of my friend? This will be my walking-stick question as I step forward.

    Your question Laurie was the perfect question for me this morning. Thank you!

  13. An absolutely cool floor pattern!… It certainly looks three-dimensional. I would have felt a bit dizzy as well 🙂 Have an excellent day dear Laurie 😀

  14. I don’t usually tread lightly through life. The “C” of my last name could also stand for “clumsy.”. As for that restaurant’s decor – what were they thinking – somebody’s sick idea of design that could easily make patrons sick all over the floor. As my dentist would say, the floor is “bad for business”.

  15. The floor reminds me of an MC Escher painting. It demands that your customers slow down and notice you–although, as some have pointed out, not necessarily in the most positive way.

    Yesterday, I had to craft a business reply. There’s a real knack to conveying what you mean in a manner that will be heard in the way that you intend. It requires the ability to tread lightly. I hope I came close.

  16. Not exactly treading lightly, but yesterday morning I left home to go to a regional water meeting in Christchurch (3 hour drive), and while in that meeting the roading authority closed all the roads back to Kaikoura, So right now I am sitting in my sister’s place in Christchurch, and Ailsa is at home – without a vehicle. 3 inches of rain have fallen since I left home yesterday.
    Not sure if I will be able to get home today, but I will have a go. Will leave here soon and be at the start when they announce their review at 9:30.

  17. I love the pattern … just not in my house! I’m sure that I would break an ankle trying to cross that expanse of dangerous-looking floor. I haven’t been treading anywhere much, lightly or otherwise. I had a lively area rug leap up from the floor all by itself and wrap itself around my feet, bringing me down with a crash and a bad word. Turns out I did break my ankle and was given permission to sit on the couch with my book and my knitting for the rest of the month. This I can do without little or no argument!

    • Sandi — THIS particular floor pattern would definitely NOT be the one to try negotiating at this time. It wasn’t the oddest sensation with two perfectly capable feet. I can’t begin to imagine how a person would proceed with a cast on their leg! 🙂

  18. Great floor! It reminds me of an experiment done with animals – including human babies – to see how and when they perceive depth. The table and floor had the same black and white checkerboard pattern, sized so that it could appear they were on the same level. Very disconcerting, as is the floor! I tread lightly most all the time these days, afraid of offending in this world where everyone seems to be in loud disagreement.

  19. I had to tread lightly (and not look down too often) while walking on the glass floor at the CN Tower in Toronto. (The floor is nearly 1/5 of a mile above the ground.):

  20. Oh my oh my that makes me go all weird inside . I had to tread lightly this very morning past my sleeping husband and snoring dog so I can have a bit of ‘me’ time on the balcony of our hotel room …utter bliss…sleep on boys .

  21. In my late twenties, I started to get vertigo. It can be annoying when I’m hiking, but I can generally deal with it. I did have a panic attack on a rock fin in Arches that had a steep drop off one side. When I was a kid, I would tread lightly be walking on the ceiling. I did this by holding a small mirror in my hands and holding it at waist level so I could look down at it and pretend I was walking on the ceiling. It was great fun.

  22. The most wonderful illusions are the 3D street-art ones where, if you stand in the right place, it looks as though you are standing on the edge of a waterfall or a canyon or a giant lava-filled fissure. 😀

  23. Ooooooh, I had to tread lightly from a six-floor balcony when recently in Gettysburg. I have some SERIOUS vertigo! I get it now by just “thinking” about it! Ugh.

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