I jumped. As my trembling prepubescent body penetrated the water, an enduring life lesson penetrated my soul. Sometimes, it is necessary to “do it afraid.”
It took a few seconds for me to orient myself; this depth was unfamiliar territory. I found that when I relaxed, when I didn’t struggle or panic, I naturally rose to the surface without much effort. My head found its way toward the light where there was air to refill my lungs. I was OK.
When I returned to the Mineola Pool the following summer, as a more confident and daring adolescent, I ascended the same twelve steps. This time, I needed no cheering crowd to encourage me. Standing ten feet above them on the high diving board, I spread my arms—winglike. Then I jumped, plunging with faith into the waters that caught me.
Three decades have passed, yet the message has replayed repeatedly in my life. At times, after taking the necessary steps toward a goal, I have been paralyzed by fear, unable to move forward with a plan. Then I remember that my sweaty palms are not necessarily an indication that I should not proceed with an endeavor. That thumping sound in my ears may be more than the pounding of my nervous heart. It could be the sound of the springboard beneath my feet.
In these decisive moments, if we will only be brave enough to leap and not turn back, the benevolence of life will ensure our safety. We will find our way toward the light. We will be given breath. We will be OK.
Be enlightened! ~ M
Every event prepares us for the next.
See here my first attempt at plunging,
many years prior to ascending
the high dive ladder.