Friday, February 29, 2008

Look Before You Leap-- Friday Five

On RevGalBlogPals, will smama and Songbird ask:

It's Leap Day!! Whether you're one of the special few who have a birthday only once every four years, or simply confused by the extra day on the calendar, everyone is welcome to join in and play our Leap Year Friday Five.

Tell us about a time you:

1. Leapt before looked

I often leap before I look. Even though I try to slow down and examine choices as logically as possible, in reality almost every major choice I’ve made in my life has, ultimately, been based on sheer intuition and following the call of my heart rather than carefully looking at what’s before me. And, though the end result has at times been very painful, I’m not sure I’d have it any other way.

2. Leapt to a conclusion

I do that more than I’d like to remember!

3. Took a Leap of Faith

The summer I left working in a law firm to go to work as an intern in a church was a leap of faith—financially, yes, but also spiritually. Leaving my full-time teaching position so my mother could die as she wished at home was a leap of faith. My going through the ordination process despite a lot of resistance at home was a leap of faith. My staying in the Presbyterian Church now when it continues to be so homophobic and when charges keep appearing against those of us who are lgbt and lgbt-friendly feels like a continual leaping.

4. Took a literal Leap

Most unexpected, memorable leap was on Martha’s Vineyard, when my kids were about 4 and 14. We were there for the day along with two other families. We spent most of the time sailing but then someone pointed out that we were near a bridge that’s become a “jumping” rite of passage on the island. So we decided to give it a try. One by one we climbed up over the decaying wooden railing and clung to the outside of the bridge, with kids in each family taking the lead and jumping while an adult waited by the bottom of the bridge by the slippery rocks to grab any child who might not be able to climb up before being carried by the waves into the ocean. When it was our turn, my son went first. I got ready to go and discovered that letting go and taking such a leap (especially when you’re as blind as I am without my glasses) isn’t so easy. But suddenly there was a splash next to me. My 4 year old, who had just learned to swim, had climbed over the railing and jumped without waiting for me to get down below to catch her and help her up to the rocks. What could I do? I leapt!

5. And finally, what might you be faced with leaping in the coming year?

The mystery of where to leap next is what I’m trying hard to stay open to these days. You’d think after all the years of doing it, it’d get easier, but it hasn’t. But I guess it’s like W.H. Auden says in Look Before You Leap:

“ The sense of danger must not disappear:
The way is certainly both short and steep,
However gradual it looks from here;
Look if you like, but you will have to leap.”


Chorus said...

Great quotation from Auden; thanks for sharing it!

Jiff said...

Thanks for the Auden reminder! So great!

Songbird said...

My thanks, too.

Betsy Whaley said...

And mine. Thanks also for the leaping from the bridge story. It's been my experience that the process of raising kids forces us to make leaps we might not otherwise be inclined to make.