As I sit here in my comfy chair staring out at a calm sea, I wonder.
From here, the world could look endless or limited. I see where the sea meets sky in a definite line. I can also see why people before me saw the end of the earth, the edge of life as they knew it. Of course, now we know that the world is round, the ocean rolls on and that horizon isn’t the end but another beginning.
Our oceans are so deep, we still don’t know everything about them. Storms rise up to threaten us and then just disintegrate and move on. Yesterday, there were dire warnings of Hurricane Olivia. Schools closed. Boats stayed in the harbor. Flood warnings rang out.
We were encouraged to stay in, shelter in place and wait for it to pass. We did not.
As Oregonians used to rain, we were unfazed by a few sprinkles turned to drizzle. We put on our shoes and walked 4 miles from one end of the beach to the other. The beach crowded the day before was almost empty. No snorkelers. No boarders. No swimmers.
But we weren’t alone. There were other brave souls out walking the sandy beach or the boardwalk. After a few hours, more people headed for the beach and water as well. I heard other phones sounding the alarm for flash flooding. We walked on anyway.
I didn’t see it as brave, just letting myself live life.
Sitting on the patio overlooking a lush green lawn, I noticed a little lizard.
This little creature, not more than 3 inches was perched on a the patio cover. This wood arbor portico is made of boards set 4-5 inches apart. Sitting on the edge of one board, she looks out, over, and under her world. I watch as she hesitates at the edge of the 10 foot drop. What will she do? This, from her view, is like the ocean horizon. Is it round or is it flat?
There are choices: go under, go around or jump.
There is a moment, I can feel the little lizard tugging at all the choices. There is a small rocking motion in her tiny body and then, she makes up her mind. She jumps. After the first jump succeeds, you’d think she would just hip-pity hop across the patio roof. No. Each time, she sees, evaluates, gauges and decides to jump.
Life is like that.
We are all like this little lizard. We look always, from our own horizon. And, as we grow, learn and change, our horizon changes too. And that is where true courage comes in.
Like the little lizard, you and I must dare to jump without knowing where we’ll land.