The chanting crescendoed behind me as I drew in a deep breath and answered the question, “Señora, ¿Siga?” (Ma’am, are you going next?)
I nodded and stepped forward while the chanting rose and fell. “Libertad, libertad, libertad!” screamed the worshippers we had passed way back on the mountaintop ridge trail. The chant bounced off the mountains and back at us as we had climbed upward and then down to the launching point. It accompanied the first of our group as they plummeted off the zip-line platform down into the clouds to the other side of the valley in these gorgeous Guatemalan mountains.
I was next. I volunteered. My daughter, Karina, and I were on a trip of a lifetime together and she was waiting to try zip lining. I didn’t want my fear to overcome me. I really didn’t want to chicken out and ruin things for her. “Libertad!” bounced around me again. “Freedom, freedom, freedom!” It no longer held any semblance of singing, but rather was just bellowed, over and over again from the worshippers in the distance.
Why did I volunteer to go next? I couldn’t even see where I was headed. The cable stretched out off the mountainside, but disappeared into some clouds before you could see where it landed. Hands fastened my belt and snugged down the straps across the shoulders. I felt a jerk as they tested the clips. They handed me the handle and the guide said in Spanish, “Just take a step, Ma’am, and the mountain will do the rest.”
Yes. The mountain would do the rest. NOTHING would be between me and the tippy-tops of the trees way below. I breathed deep and swung my foot out over nothing. My other leg shook a bit. I put my foot back down.
“Really?” I questioned the guides, “Just step?”
My gaze couldn’t help but wander down the cliff to the trees far below. Just step. I didn’t have to run, or jump, or anything. Just step and let the mountain do the rest.
“Libertad!” screeched the worshippers again, “Freedom!”
I glanced back at Karina and swung my foot forward again. My shaky back foot lifted up and suddenly any pretense of control over my life was gone. I was flying! I flew over the trees and without further thought my mouth opened and I screamed. Wind whistled by my face and trees whirled under my feet. Weightless and effortless, my journey carried me forward through the fog and across the valley. My scream gurgled into laughter and as I approached the platform on the opposite mountaintop I felt a certain resistance in my soul. My life was coming back under control. I would swing into the platform and my wild ride would be over. I looked back down into the tree-tops and I laughed aloud again. “Freedom!”
I landed safely and watched from the trail as my daughter came flying across the valley to my side of the mountain. She landed with a brilliant smile and a quick, “That was Awesome!” and we climbed up the mountain to the return zip line that was higher and stretched several hundred yards farther.
The chanting was fainter from this side of the valley, just barely heard across the breezes. I stepped forward as they fastened my harness back onto the zipline. “Step forward whenever you’re ready, Señora,” directed the guide.
I smiled and stepped. My heart yelled, “Freedom!” as I zipped across the tree tops and swung out across the huge expanse of valley below. I screamed on this trip too, but not from terror, more from just joy in the moment. I laughed my way through the cloud and felt joy flood through my whole body at the views of the valleys below and the multi-hued green of the forest canopy and I flew right on into the platform on the other side. That WAS awesome.
My daughter arrived shortly after I did, having braved being harnessed so that she was hanging hands-free and spread-eagle “como superman” they all said.
In the glow of conquering our fears, we took a picture, the zip line in the background and the chant, “Libertad, freedom,” still ringing around the mountains.
That was spring break.
A week from today the moving truck arrives. We move from Kansas to California. From teaching high-school to teaching middle-school as well as high-school. From having one child at university and two at home to having two at university and only one left at home. From working for my husband to working with another principal. From friends I know, to complete strangers. From a house we own to a place we don’t even know yet (yes, you read that right, we do not even have a rental – pray we find one before our truck has to unload our things four days after loading). My life has no feeling of control.
“Ma’am,” says My Guide, “Are you going next?”
I glance around me, fear holding that back foot into place. My foot swings out over space and I hang tight onto my harness. My house, my neighborhood, the school I know, the safe church family, students I already know how to handle, friends and even a singing group. They’re here and they’re safe. I have no idea what’s on the other side of the clouds I have to sail through and I have no clue what’s going to happen once I land on that platform on the other side.
Somewhere I hear a faint chant, “Libertad, freedom, freedom.”
“My daughter,” respectfully whispers My Guide, “you just have to step. I will do the rest.”With God, we just have to take a step. He'll do the rest, and give us freedom. #inspirememonday Click To Tweet
Inspire Me Monday Instructions
What’s your inspirational story? Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:
1. Link up your most inspirational post from the previous week (just ONE, please).
2. Vist TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.
3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer—just do it!
Please link back to this week’s post or add the button to your post so that we can spread the inspirational cheer :).
I found inspiration for my Monday at #inspirememondays. Join us! (tweet this)
So, go ahead! Take the plunge and share your most inspiring post with us!