When You Come To The Edge

30 Aug

 

“Is it safe?”

I asked, nerves coming out. I had tried to act all cool and adventurous, like I used to be, like I didn’t have a care in the world. But all of a sudden that pretense was falling down, like I imagined my body falling into a herd of Longhorns grazing below, as I went down the 1500 foot zip line,  the skies of a Texas summer storm darkening in the distance.

“Well, it is metal, and lightening is attracted to it,” The skinny collage guy guide said with a slight smirk.

“Thanks. That’s reassuring,” I quipped.

I gulped. Jean-Thomas was waiting on the other side. It looked miles away.

It’s not that I am afraid of heights. I’ve always prided myself of loving them, adoring the adrenaline rush, the feeling of flying.

No, I wasn’t afraid so much of falling.

By the time we reached this last zip line, this grand finale, the wind was blowing fiercely, against us. I watched Jean-Thomas go down the zip line and come to a stop before the platform, hanging like a shirt on a clothes line, only to grab onto the line and pull himself in.

That is what I was afraid of. That I would get stuck.

That I would have to pull myself into the other side, that I wasn’t strong enough to do it.

And while I was stuck, the rain would pour down and the thunder boom, and there I would be, a human lightening rod, dangling in the thin air like a skewered piece of meat over a barbecue, ready to be zapped and fried.

Fear used to control my life. I spent time worrying about dying, about having no one to love me, about being alone.

When I was set free, I began to live like I never thought possible. My inward reality reflected on my outward decisions.

I decided to live.

I sold everything I had. I quit my job. I trekked across foreign unknown lands. I shared my heart with strangers.

I lived with abandonment and uncertainty, always moving forward.

Always choosing adventure.

There were plenty moments of terror, but plenty moments of joy.

But faith and risk needs to be exercised, or you become weak again.

Comfortable.

Afraid.

“You’ve got to go now,” I heard the guide telling me, “The storm is getting closer.”

I gulped. Closed my eyes for just a moment. I could feel the wind on my face, cool and inviting.

On the other side, my love was waiting. Waiting for me to jump. Waiting to help pull me in if I got stuck.

The guide reassured me, “It’s ok. If you get stuck they can throw you a rope.”

I realized then, even if I was too weak, it didn’t matter.

I wasn’t alone.

“1…2… 3!”

I jumped. And flew, free, into the storm.

“When you have come to the edge of all light that you know, and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen:

There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly”

-Patrick Overton

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2 Responses to “When You Come To The Edge”

  1. Jim Woods (@unknownjim) August 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    It’s always scary jumping into the storm isn’t it?! Sounds like quite the experience!!!

    • BrookeGale August 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

      Yes. I didn’t realize what an experience it was until I started writing about it. Life lessons are all around us!

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