Jump In? Is the Water is Cold?

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Life has happened.

Outside demands, extra commitments, new revelations, change has come.

Life has happened! (With an exclamation and a sigh … some of it unexpected and unanticipated.)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a truly controlled environment to walk out our plans for life? Step one, step two, step three – no surprises?

My life is like water.  I was immersed, swimming along – my strokes were effective, my breathing rhythmic – and without warning the wave crashed over my head.  My grace was gone.  Instead I was sputtering, coughing, gasping for air.  Maybe I should only swim in a swimming pool – controlled, quiet … in a box.

I almost drowned when I was a toddler.  I have no conscious memory of the event – but my subconscious carries the story.  After the incident, my mom remembers me crying, being terrified as I watched my father swim far from the lake shore.  I hated taking swimming lessons – there was always a hard cold impossible knot in my belly – at the time I did not understand where the wall of breath stopping fear came from.

The effects of my near drowning experience have seemingly passed – I am generally not afraid of water.  However last spring as I was enjoying a walk beside the overflowing banks of a spring flooded river – a sudden dark panic gripped me.  A momentary sensation of not touching the ground and helplessness, overwhelmed me.  Even when I recognized where this fear came from – I had an uneasy tentative relationship with the flowing river.  I was at a completely safe, risk-free distance, nonetheless I had to consciously, logically push back the fear.  It was a strange bizarre experience.

Life, like water is experienced in uncountable ways.  It is a sensory experience.  It can be an emotional encounter. It can’t always be lived in the swimming pool lanes, or placid still ponds. Sometimes it is experienced in the sudden tempest – crashing and forceful.  Sometimes there is stillness.  Sometimes there is brilliant, unrelenting motion.  It sparkles with light.  It changes color. It freezes.  It evaporates.

Life is like water – it flows, and it overflows.  Life happens – whether you dip your toes in, make a cannonball, or gracefully dive to the depths. It  is beautiful and dangerous, it invokes fear and inspires peace.  It is life sustaining, and it can take it all the same.  Have you jumped in?

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