“Hold this bar and step out onto the platform”  the skydiving coach yells his instructions over the scream of the plane’s engines and the whipping wind.  I am basically brain-dead – terror and adrenaline in full control.  Other parachuters stare at me also mute with terror, including my friend, Gina.  I know what she’s thinking.  What possessed us to do this?  What were we thinking??

Since I am brain-dead, the instructor forces my hands to the bar below the wing.  I have the sense to grab on.  Then to my horror, he gives me a nudge.

This is a business after all.

The wind sweeps my feet off the platform so that my body is airborne, parallel to the plane, underneath its wing, literally flapping.  I clutch the bar for dear life.

In fact I decide at that moment I will NEVER let go of this very bar.  They can just land the plane with me underneath.  There is NO way I will let go.

That’s when the exasperated instructor forces my fingers one at time from the bar.  There’s no more nudging.  He hurdles me into the waiting wind and a violent drop toward the quilted farmland of central Illinois.

The static cord attached to my parachute immediately engages and a parachute billows into being.

Then quiet.  My body sways gently as I befriend the wind which had treated me so cruelly seconds before.  My brain reappears.

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The image of me clinging to the bar of that plane has become my life’s metaphor.  I am a clinger.  I don’t Let-Go well.  Take parenting.  It crushed me to see my son and daughter leave the nest.  To this day, if Alex returns home for a night, it’s all I can do not to cradle her head, hold her hand, and basically gush baby-talk to this now 27-year-old business woman who is not fond of physical touch from her mom.

I cling to memories, holidays, vacations, routines, even ends of books where I have to say good-bye to characters I’ve grown to love.

But I do have a choice.  I can cling to my proverbial bar trying to pin down that which is transitory.  Or, I can compel that brain of mine to cling to the eternal, to that which satisfies the soul.

I googled the word “clinging” in the Bible and here are some verses that popped up.  They seem command-like, as if God knows my tendency to wallow in temporal clinginess.

Deuteronomy 10:20 “You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name.

Joshua 23:8 “But you are to cling to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day.

Psalm 63:8  My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.


So, may I cling to the hand of God and know that I am held fast in return.




3 thoughts on “Clinging

Add yours

  1. Loved the tie in with the biblical passage. Wonderful introspection as to who you are and what you need. Never knew you jumped out of a plane!!! Super impressed! Another one crossed off the bucket list! Bravo!

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh you brought me back in time!! I still remember letting go of that bar as one of the my hardest leaps of faith…but afterwards it was SO peaceful! A good metaphor for a few life events. Your writing is beautiful!


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