All you have to do is fall.
skydiving never seemed like a possibility in my life. I had entertained the idea and thought it could be fun. But never did I imagine actually taking action to have it happen.
A group of us arriving in the morning, earlier than most are used to. some sleepy, some wired, some apprehensive.
All the while, I am experiencing calm. The things in my life I have faced that terrified me seemed like nothing next to jumping out of a plane. All you have to do is fall!
As the time drew near, the experience of time seemed to slow. I could look at people and find them really present. I had a sense that I am made to do this. Everything about it felt easy, strapping on the harness, the practice next to an old plane for how to fall. All easy.
As I board the plane I say to my group, the adrenaline before a triathlon is much more intense!
And the we take off, feels like I am meant to fly, all the planesI have been on this year. Probably more than twenty flights I imagine.
Then the scenery becomes gorgeous I see lakes and hills and all sooo green. I think why is it that humans want to throw ourselves off of heights and tall buildings? No other animals do that. Do we need to know we are powerful or where does this come from? Are we proving to the gods that we can do what we want?
All the time we circle going higher and higher. I watch the altitude on everyones watch. Everyone has gone silent at this point. Just a bunch of human animals preparing to launch themselves out of a plane. Peace abounds.
13,000 ft, we begin to prepare to jump. still calm. scooting to the edge of the plane I watch Kit on the outside edge as he takes a final glance at me and then hurls himself into space tumbling head over heals.
Then on a count of three my guide and I are off too! spiraling and tumbling into nothing. As soon as we flatten out parallel to the ground a cloud Is approaching. At that moment my stomach drops, realizing I am falling. Only for a moment. Then...
Through a cloud! My favorite part, cold and frigid like a motorcycle in the winter. Nothing to see but grey and coldness, little drops on my face. I have to remember to breath the air is rushing over me so fast. It feels like my lungs could fill too fast if I breath. But I do anyhow, sporadically remembering with long pauses in between.
Out the bottom of the cloud we pop, the parachute is released and I begin to flow down, upright like I could walk on the tops of the earth again.
I am thinking how much I love this planet.
I am thinking that all the times in my life I considered I didn’t want to live anymore. I realize my strong desire to be on this earth. To live among people. To be a human. I get to choose my existence in a new way. with gratitude and longing.
I have often wanted to float off, and in meditation experiencing that feeling is always comforting and welcome. But in that moment, I could only think about being back on earth. Not from fear, but from a REAL DEEP knowing that this is exactly where I belong. A desire to be a human on earth right now.
God didn’t get it wrong after all. (joke). I agree. This is the life I want.
Descending and gliding I feel like I am wake boarding the air. Lower and lower until finally, gently we come to a halt, dry cut grass flying up around us.
Elated to feel the earth, I scamper to my group. Calm, silent, smiling, in awe, I hug each one. Not sure how to convey choosing to be back on this planet with them. Feeling the heat of everyone as I hug them.
I am home.
All I had to do was fall.
All we ever have to do is fall.