Frozen With Fear

Marley - Hudsonville, Michigan
Entered on January 25, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: courage, setbacks

Falling was always a fear of mine. The scary thing about falling was that you never knew when it would end and most importantly: how it would end. It took one fall to change that belief. It took one belief alteration to change my view of life. It took one instance to fall fast, to fall hard and to fall in complete and utter surrender to the future- to learn how to trust. I believe, no matter how unlucky you are, you need to trust that something will be there to break your fall.

Falling: story of my life. Sure, you could say that I’m clumsy, but I would argue that I have the unique grace of an elephant. When I was nine, I must say that my klutziness was at its peak. While innocently frolicking through the backwoods at my friend’s house, I tripped and managed to fall somersaulting down a ravine that exceeded thirty feet deep.

My awkward limbs cascaded down the sliding earth, groping and tumbling all the while. In the end, I could not stop myself, so I gave up. I helplessly drew my body into a ball, gave into the power of gravity, and toppled down the ravine. To my great surprise, just before I reached the approaching river bottom, my baby blue track pants snagged on a fallen tree’s branch. I dangled in mid-air, a mere four feet from the ravine’s jagged substratum, with fear bubbling and foaming and gurgling in my otherwise empty stomach. Aside from my uncertainties, my conscience declared that I should have been terrified. But, at the moment I was saved, my worries and pounds of sandy gravel plummeted to their stony grave.

As I hung upside down by my pants, my eyes peered upward to my toes. They climbed the ravine hesitating on each boulder the size of a minivan, each fallen tree trunk with skull crushing super powers, each deathly slab of nature that sprinkled the cliff side- wondering how I had not struck any of them.

Laying there untouched, ensnared upon a nine year old child’s Mount. Everest, I found that falling was not so frightening after all. When you fall, something not only breaks your fall, it catches you. I came to believe that there is indeed a deliverer of clumsy souls, like myself, from danger’s harmful grip. I trust and believe that whatever happens and no matter what kind of fall I take, I will be caught. Falling has given me courage and trust in the world around me, aside from the fact that I’m an aged professional, falling is no longer a fear of mine.