I am so honored to have a lovely group of friends house-sitting the blog while I am away. Each of them has chosen something summer-ish to share here with you. Do take a moment to say hello to them~
Today I welcome Meryl from My bit of Earth with her beautiful summer inspired piece, Jump.
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I remember the first time I jumped.
I was 10 or 11, and it was Summer vacation. I had been sitting in the upper door of the hayloft writing--a habit that began early in my life--as the sun went down. The smell of the warmed field below wafted up. The fireflies flickered. I lost track of time, and then it was dark. Too dark to make my way back through the maze of hay and climb down the ladder.
But it was only getting darker, and my only other choice was to jump.
It was 15 feet to the ground. I tossed the notebook I had been scribbling in first, listening to it "thwack" as it landed roughly. Then I took a deep breath, screwed up my courage, and pushed off.
The ground came faster than I expected, but my body had the good sense to crumple and roll. I stood up and brushed off my hands. I was half surprised that I had lived, and half ready to go do it again. I smiled at myself as I walked home.
We took our baby to the city for his Summer vacation. The other kids were in the fountain playing, and he watched with a 3 year-old mixture of awe and fear as they launched themselves from rock to rock.
Then he climbed up on one of the rocks himself, took a deep breath, screwed up his courage, and pushed off.
I saw myself in the expression on his face when he landed--that same self-satisfied grin.
And then I remembered something that I had forgotten in the process of growing-up.
While Popsicles and sprinklers are seasonal joys, the real core of Summer is that it gives us all a chance to be brave. To stay outside too late and stay around the fire when friends start telling ghost stories that are too frightening. To swim out too far and explore new places that are too deep in the woods. To jump when it's too scary--be it from a hayloft or a slippery rock or a high dive.
And then we get to be a little amazed with ourselves when we find that those things weren't too much; that we had them in us all along.
Here's wishing you a summer full of brave jumps.