But it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to do a front flip out the door, a somersault far above the SC sky. And inexplicably, throwing my arms out to the side, arching my back and hugging the atmosphere seemed like the most instinctive thing in the world.
I didn’t want the parachute to open. I would have been perfectly happy to freefall all the way down; everything was so disconnected that the thought of impact wasn’t any more real than the thought of skating around Saturn’s rings.
Thankfully, it was real to Nick, the Skydive Walterboro professional strapped to my back. My lemon-lime colored parachute opened after about thirty-five seconds of freefalling. Jerked. Suddenly there was reality again, sharp as the harness biting into my shoulders and jeans, keeping me suspended above the ground.
So… I hung there, as undignified as a marionette, and took in the sights. There was the Atlantic; there was a dirt road, there a highway; there was a pond with swirls of neon green and blue water, there a forest, there a farm, there a city with buildings; there, an airport, where we’d soon return; there ants—no—people!!!—far below.
I looked up and saw Qing (Sarah), my good friend who’d jumped just minutes after I did. She was jubilant as she waved. “I love Americaaaaa!!!!” she shouted. Then we spun away, dipped back down to earth and walked out of the sky as though out of a dream. I didn’t even get my Pumas dusty.
I thought I’d be nervous.
Bucket list item 1: done. It was a rush. But my last post was right. Life isn’t about defying gravity or expectations. It’s about being present in every day, being real, living the abundant life that God has given me–for His glory. Maybe it took skydiving to remind me.
Maybe I should be as fearless every other day of the year.