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  • “Come to the edge,” he said.
    “We are afraid.” They said.
    “ Come to the edge,” he said.
    They came. He pushed them, and they flew.

    Guillaume Apollinaire

    It is so easy, once you decide to go through with it.

    There is that awful moment when you actually jump into the rushing air – 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 catches the wind 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 and mountain laurel, you discover undreamt-of dimensions of freedom, freedom that tastes as sweet on your tongue as sun-ripened wild blackberries.

    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 symmetry of it all. You see how all of the shapes fit together in a pattern: the rivers, the valleys, the bluffs, the ocean.

    You see, for the first time, that there is so much more than you ever could have imagined in that sheltered valley where you grew up, and which, for a long time, you never thought you would leave.

    You are amazed at the widening horizons of choice now available to you, available because you have dared to leap into the Unknown.

    The old questions that used to haunt you are answering themselves. The new questions are easier to live with – questions having to do with depth, height, breadth, and quality.

    About 500 ft. below you, to your left, you spot an eagle. A warm gust of canyon wind lifts you higher.

    There is a comfortable shape to it, now. Large pieces of your self fit snugly against other pieces of your self, like an exquisitely made puzzle.

    You don't have to whittle down your edges, to compromise, to sacrifice as you used to do, to make it work.

    Your valleys balance your mountains, your fields balance your sky. Your silvery blue rivers and oceans hold the whole thing together.

    You bank to the north, turn, and descend in a slow spiral. Then you catch another sudden, lifting column of air and ascend to a new high.

    You can see so far now. You can see lost civilizations, and civilizations yet-to-be-created.

    You see great rain forests become barren deserts, and then reinvent themselves in a thousand shades of green.

    You can hear the singing of dolphins, and the lonely calling of giant whales.

    You watch the great land masses stir and shift, as new continents form and then fragment into islands.

    And as you watch and listen to this new world unfolding moment by moment around you, you forget the voices of the past, the voices of those who could not understand, would not understand.

    You have learned that once you let go of your fear, and take the leap,anything is possible.

    You are in a welcoming sky of the Great Spirit, safe in the shadow of a great wing, free at last.


    (Photograph by AJN in the virtual 3-D world of Second Life)
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