Jumping Off

While  jump is quite explicit in the activity bungee jumping, it did not occur to me that I would have to physically do so until we were standing on the bridge. We had just received our instructions  and it hit me. “Oh shit.” I thought to myself.

The fall is something I had thought about— been excited about. But initiating it? Reaching down into myself and finding the will and the trust to make it happen? I wondered how many false starts I might have after the count-off.

“So, is there anything we can do to mitigate backlash?” I asked Ryan once the reality of it all finally sunk in. Just lead with your head, he said. As long as you do it the way we just talked about, head first, you’ll be fine.”

I did find the will, but not the technique. I was suspended mid-air when I realized my feet were leading and pointed straight down. Using my core, I tucked my body in and pushed my head through and down to correct my position before I reached the end of the rope where it would snap me to the position I worked towards. Thankfully, I corrected in time.

I’m off to bed with the view and the feeling  framed in my mind.

Jumping Off

[My free fall from Bloukrans Bridge, the highest bungee jump in the world]

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Love songs from Mother Earth

I realized in college how much my soul finds peace from the sound of waves crashing. Despite the circumstances or the day, I step onto a beach and feel an inward sigh, releasing things I did not know were bottled.

The water is my therapy, massaging out the knots of life’s pressures I inadvertently carry. It is my church, uniting me with the creative energy of life’s Source. It is my home, cradling me in the sea of the familiar and the unknown, the constant and the changing.

It reminds me too of my dad, connecting us through a shared love not often tapped, as our times on beaches together are too few.

Yesterday was one of those remembering days, with time in the sunshine and on the ocean bringing me back to myself.

“Hello, beauty” I whispered. “Look at how radiant you are when you let the Earth kiss you.”

We took a boat out to a rocky point where the seals live and- costumed like them with wetsuits and flippers- swam amongst our furry friends. I kept inhaling salt water as I flipped and twisted in the water, mimicking their fluid movement while forgetting about my snorkel mask.

It was a majestic experience to be surrounded by another mammal in their environment, on their turf. A guest in a stranger’s land, I felt honored to be included. If I joined too quickly, I could see them startle and distance themselves just as fast. But, when I was calm and waited for them to come to me, within minutes I’d be enclosed in a circle of seals swimming and dancing around me. They swam up to me from below and would do a sort of backflip within an arm’s reach. Their carefree and graceful movement was playful and flirtatious, a reflection on contentment offered with their every move.

It was a gift to encounter another marvel of the Universe in such an intimate way.

There is a cheesy 90’s worship song I find myself connecting to frequently here in Plettenberg Bay, its lightness mirroring my spiritual experience:

Waves of mercy, waves of grace
Everywhere I look, I see Your face
Your Love has captured me
Oh my God , this Love, how can it be?
Oh Lord, how it can be? Yeaaaah

From my short time with the seals, I am struck by the verse: “everywhere I look, I see Your face.” I am prompted to see the face of God in the beauty that surrounds, to let Her caress me with every moment’s inspiration. To return to the oceanfront, and to breathe in the sweet aroma of peace.