“Daring to Jump”
by Alex Noble
by Alex Noble
“It is so easy, once you decide to go through with it. There is that awful moment when you jump into the rushing wind – that terrible split-second when you see your whole life flash by like a movie, when you wonder if you are making a mistake. But then, then, the great yellow wing over your head ascends and you float out over the canyon, free of the past, free of trying so hard to be someone you never were, never could be.
In the warm afternoon air, high over sage, rabbits, scrub pine, squirrels, mesquite, blooming ceanothus and mountain laurel, you discover undreamed –of dimensions of freedom, freedom that tastes as sweet on your tongue as sun-ripened wild blackberries. And from this new altitude, as you glide soundlessly over streams, sycamores and granite outcroppings, the geology of your life finally makes sense.
You see the elegant symmetry of it all. You see how all your shapes fit together in a divine pattern: the rivers, valleys, bluffs and oceans. You see, for the first time, that there is so much more to all this than you could ever have imagined back in that sheltered valley where you grew up, and which, for a long time, you never thought you wanted to leave. You are amazed at the widening horizons of choice now available to you, available because you have dared to jump into thin air, and fly.
The old questions that used to torment you are answering themselves here in the sky. The new questions are easier to live with – questions having to do with depth, height, breadth and most of all, quality. About 500 feet below you, to your left, you spot an eagle. A sudden warm gust of canyon wind lifts you higher. There is a comfortable ease to it all now. Large pieces of your fragmented self fit snugly against other pieces, as though all this was meant to be, here, now.
You don’t have to whittle down the edges, as you used to do all the time, to make things work. Your valleys balance your mountains, your rolling green fields balance your clouds. Your shining blue rivers and oceans hold the whole quilt of your life journey together. Nearly drunk with happiness, you bank to the north, turn slowly, and descend over a waterfall. Then, you catch another updraft and ascend to a new high.
You can see so far now! You can see lost civilizations, and you can see into the future to civilizations yet to be created. You watch as great rain forests become barren deserts, and then reinvent themselves in a thousand shades of green. You listen to the singing of dolphins and the lonely calling of giant whales. You watch enormous multicolored land masses stir and shift, as new continents form beneath you, and then fragment into islands and archipelagos.
And as you watch this new world shaping and re-shaping itself moment by moment, you forget the voices of the past, the voices of those who could not and would not understand. This is your hour, your time, your planet to love and embrace in all its infinite complexity and beauty. You feel God in the wind, in the scent of sagebrush, in the dancing bright light. You are learning that once you let go of your fear, anything is possible. You are now in a welcoming heaven, safe in the shadow of this great wing, free at last. Free. Flying…”