Clinging

“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

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  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!

    Like

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