so she jumped.
“Jump!” she heard him yell from the water. As she slowly looked down over the sketchy rocky cliff side into the sparkling teal water, her stomach instantly formed a knot. What was she doing up here, she thought to herself. It didn’t look this high from the bottom. She wasn’t scared of heights but this could definitely ignite acrophobic characteristics. Her hands became clammy and her heart began to race while her anxieties took over her thoughts. More people joined her on the smooth top of the rock faced cliff as she tried to compose herself.
“Are you going to go?” “No, it’s okay, go ahead”, she said as she motioned a young boy in front of her. He walked slowly to the edge, positioning his feet just so. And without a hint of fear, he leapt off the overhang, soaring gracefully through the air and splashing into the clear water below.
Effortless, she thought. Why couldn’t she approach the edge with such ease? This boy had no preconceived apprehensions which inhibited him from taking the seemingly simple jump. He did not wait to first contemplate the possible outcomes of this spontaneous action nor pause for others to go before him. The boy only jumped.
In the moments she stood there pondering the young boy’s actions, whether viewed as bravery or stupidity, everyone else had jumped, leaving her alone on the rock face. Deep breath. Cautiously she drew near to the edge of the bluff, feeling the warmth of the giant rock under her feet. Peering down over the edge she could see small smiling faces beaming back up at her, floating within the calm water. What is holding you back? Why are you letting your confidence be shaken? These questions crept into her mind for which there was no suitable answer to give in response. She realized there was nothing else to do but jump, so she did.
As her feet left the overhang she felt her stomach knot gently melt away and her arms naturally rise while she glided through the pine scented air. Her face tilted slightly upwards letting the sun saturate her soul as a sense of tranquility encompassed her whole being. With an abrupt splash she broke through the surface of the water feeling the calm surround her as it soon began to lift her body back to the top. Inhaling deeply the warm summer oxygen, she heard the cheers and the claps of the smiling faces she once viewed from above.
I did it, she thought as she now floated peacefully atop the water, closing her eyes to welcome the touch of the sun’s rays on her skin. Looking back she could see how simple it is to allow doubt to control her actions; to allow trepidation to control her mind. Perhaps her fear of the unknown was warranted. But the freedom of letting go of her anxieties was liberating.
She remained floating in the water, basking in this summer memory she would keep with her always. Embracing her pure joy and reflecting on her actions, she could no longer contain the smile which appeared on her face. “The only thing left to do is jump.”, she whispered to herself with a tone of realization in her voice.