By manipulating the shape of the body in freefall, a skydiver can generate turns, forward motion, backwards motion, and even lift.
A wounded deer leaps highest. — Emily Dickinson
On its surface, this day is no different than others. It adheres to the same 24 hours as all the rest. The sun rises and sets at hours consistent with those in the days surrounding it. It does not break from established weather patterns, does not undo the laws of gravity, does not defy velocity. It is but a day.
But I tell you of a truth: we are made for risk. We are made for the meticulous building of traditions and for the very sudden breaking from them. Listen, feel the hard gallop of blood through the veins to the heart through the veins. This is how were meant to move through this, the only life we’re given: quick, but with deliberation, forceful and regenerative.
We were meant for leaps, for freefalls–and just in case our fears make us forget, just in case the trappings of acquired finery cause a kind of amnesia, God occasionally grants us this: an extra revolution of earth ’round sun, a 366th opportunity to do what should be done daily.
You will not perish. You will kiss lovers you would not have known, if not for the casting off of cynicism. You will break ground that, undoubtedly, would’ve been colonized later, by someone else who understood what it meant to manipulate a fall, a failure, in ways that become strengths. You will triumph where others see only defeat. You will tilt your head, close an eye, squint, make viewfinders of your fingers and gaze at the figure before you in the glass, gaze until she becomes someone to be revered, someone different than she was in years, in days, in moments before and who will be different still in the days to come. You will finish a thought, a deep, a pursuit once discarded–reconcile with a decision long past.
You will take your children–biological, imagined, mentored–and pull them close with the sound of your lowered voice. Say, you may feel fixed as stone, but you have the freedom of vapor. Say, I have heard that, in the air, we become zephyrs. But this can only be confirmed though the leap. Say, I love you. This should matter. This should be a propulsion. When you feel yourself sinking, spread your arms, let your heart unfurl like a bolt of raw silk, and trust that love’s current will carry you.