A Leap of Faith!

Posted by Judy | 9:04 AM | 17 comments »

My son and his girlfriend came to visit us recently and we were on the go, squeezing every minute we could out of the short time we had together. Okay… I’ll be honest. They were mostly on the go; my husband and I worked hard to keep up with them.
One of the things on the agenda was their first attempt at skydiving. They looked into a facility in Titusville, Florida, which advertised a good view of the Kennedy Space Center from the plane climbing to 15,000 feet. They signed up and were forewarned that the process would take approximately four hours from signing in until they completed their jump and left with a video of their experience. My husband and I went along as support –my husband armed with a camera; I, armed with a prayer for their safety.
They checked in and the wait began. We discovered all morning appointments are processed before the jumpers are scheduled for their flights. Milling around within the sight of the plane and observing the many parachutes lying on the floor of the hangar, tension grew. Time crept by. Nerves of jumpers and non-jumpers alike were strung out until finally names were announced for each group of five. Steve and Hilary were in the second group.
The first group climbed aboard the plane, moving awkwardly in all their gear. We stood together and watched as the plane roared down the runway and lifted into the air. We searched the sky as the plane climbed among the clouds. Soon, a cry rang out and we saw teeny tiny colorful parachutes floating in the air above us, bodies dangling from them. Some of those bodies swerved and dipped in playful maneuvers way above the earth . It was thrilling and frightening to watch them.
Steve and Hilary took off with the second load, each with a videographer taking pictures of them and their tandem partner. While they must have been thinking about the exciting moment they’d jump from the plane, I stood with my feet firmly on the ground, thinking about the leap of faith it would take for anyone to actually do it.
With a little shove from their instructors, they fell into the sky and had the time of their lives, screaming for the fright and the pure joy of it. My husband and I watched breathlessly as they swooped with outstretched arms, like strange-looking birds. At the sight of them sweeping in for a landing, touching the ground with a smile on their faces, my breathing became a little easier.
For the next few days, I couldn’t help thinking of their leap of faith and relating it to writing. For most writers, a leap of faith is required every day. We look at a blank page and jump in, hoping for a good ride and a smooth landing.
Here’s wishing that your next leap is a good one!
Ready, get set, go!

17 comments

  1. Lara Santiago // April 2, 2009 at 9:23 AM  

    What is it about skydiving that would make anyone want to jump out of a perfectly good plane? :)

    My son hasn't done this yet, but wants to very much.

    I'll admit I'm willing to try new things, however, jumping out of a plane at 15,000 feet isn't one of them.

    I applaud your resilience for being able to watch your child jump. I don't know if I could do that either. Maybe, but I certainly won't like it. :)
    L

  2. Roxanne St. Claire // April 2, 2009 at 9:50 AM  

    Judy, what a PERFECT description of starting a new book. I hate to type "Chapter One" - I never know if the parachute is going to open.

    And, whoa, you are a stronger mother than I am. I gnaw my nails down to acrylic nubs when my son gets behind the wheel of my car, learner's permit in hand. I don't think I could handle jumping from a plane.

    Great blog post!!

    Rocki

  3. Kristen Painter // April 2, 2009 at 10:11 AM  

    I couldn't do that. Jump out of a plane, that is. Write a book? Yeah, I can do that all day long. And often do.

  4. Judy // April 2, 2009 at 11:33 AM  

    Thanks everyone for the above comments! The one thing I do know is that no one will ever have to watch me jump from a plane!!! LOL

  5. Jianne Carlo // April 2, 2009 at 12:07 PM  

    Oh boy,

    You guys don't know what you're missing. Skydiving is the most exhilerating sport I've ever done. If I had found this in my youth, it would have become an obession. I had wanted to do it for years, and, finally my dh who is afraid of heights, gave it to me as a birthday present.

    What a high! When you are free falling it is noisy and intense. My buddy jumper did somersaults with me. We went up and down over and around.

    Then when he pulled that chute, silence. Absolute silence. There are no living creatures that high. The sense of peace is hard to describe. I've never felt closer to god.

    Jianne

    PS Each of my three sons did it the minute they turned 18.

  6. Judy // April 2, 2009 at 12:20 PM  

    Jianne, I envy your daring! I can well imagine what it is like. I just don't want to do it. LOL I have been in a glider and that gives somewhat the same kind of feeling in a much more secure way.

  7. magolla // April 2, 2009 at 1:19 PM  

    What a wonderful story!
    Guess I'm just a cheapwad. I'd do it if someone paid for it!

  8. Mary Ricksen // April 2, 2009 at 2:05 PM  

    I can picture myself at the door of the plane screaming my lungs out.
    No!! Save me!!
    I'd surely have a heart attack on the way down!

  9. Edie // April 2, 2009 at 3:47 PM  

    That sounds like so much fun. I have an inner ear inbalance and feel like falling, so I don't know if I can do that. But I'd love to try some day.

  10. Beth Trissel // April 2, 2009 at 3:57 PM  

    Wonderful story and analogy.

  11. Scarlet Pumpernickel // April 2, 2009 at 4:40 PM  

    What a wonderful analogy! I had never considered it quite that way before, but you are right. We are taking a giant leap of faith everytime we open a file and begin a new story.

    Great post!

    Scarlet Pumpernickel

  12. Cyrano // April 2, 2009 at 6:56 PM  

    WOW! I'm jealous. I'd love to do something thrilling and death defying like that, but alas, I haven't got the gumption. Maybe one day.
    Have a nice evening,
    Tamara

  13. Mary Marvella // April 2, 2009 at 8:04 PM  

    If you ever see me do anything like that, wake up! You're dreaming! Or the pod people took over my body.

    It was a wonderful post Judy.

  14. Judy // April 3, 2009 at 8:27 AM  

    Thanks, everyone for your comments. I really appreciate it!

  15. Nightingale // April 3, 2009 at 10:23 AM  

    I'm a bit late as usual. But I enjoyed reading about the leap of faith. I think that's a perfect term and as applied to writing as well.

  16. Lee R. Duncan // April 3, 2009 at 10:25 AM  

    My neighbor teaches sky die-ving and was part of the largest group jump ever. I've never been able to relate. Kudos to you for being so supportive.
    Love your blog!

  17. Joanne // April 4, 2009 at 7:30 PM  

    Judy,
    Thanks for the blog post. Skydiving is definitely not for the faint-hearted. A leap of faith is a perfect quote for writing. As a pantser, I never know where the story might lead.