Saturday, October 24, 2009

Free Fall

I was just outside watching people jump from an airplane. Yeah, they planned it that way. We get a good view from the back deck of a local jump area. Today, being a particularly clear day, I was able to see the jumpers actually depart from the plane, shoot toward earth for a few seconds, and then slow into an easy drift as their 'shutes opened. I was grinning the whole time, nodding and whispering a "right on..." as I watched. It was beautiful.

It occurred to me just how much in my life has been similar to jumping from a plane... from the decision to just go ahead and do something (over thinking it, but basically confident all the while), to the thrilling plunge into who-knows-what for sure, and finally (with any luck) that sweet unfurling sound of the fall being caught, and the gentle ride to a somewhat bumpy, but satisfying landing.

And oh. The view along the way. The knock-your-socks-off beauty that this life brings, yes, often right along with abject terror. There's no way to get to that beauty without some risk, without jumping, without daring to allow for the total experience.

I have no doubt that, one day (because it is on my bucket list) when I get to sky dive, as I step from the plane I'll likely pee my pants and scream until my throat hurts. Will I be scared? I'm certain I will be. Terrified. But I also know that as I make my way back to earth, my eyes will be filled with tears of joy as I take in the panorama that such an experience affords. I know too, that I will kiss the ground at the same time I glance with longing at the sky. C'est la vie. C'est moi.

~Free Falling, Tom Petty

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