The sound of feathers beating against the wind. I am at peace. My feet move closer the cliff’s edge and I am balancing between the ground and nothing. I feel high with a rush of joy and power at the same time. I smile as I remove my glasses and open my eyes to kiss the sky. What a beautiful sky, so wide and blue, as big as life itself. The glasses fall from my hand and hit the ground next to my foot.
I want to embrace life without any hindrances. I take a deep swallow of the cool mountain air and savor the taste in my lungs. With outstretched arms and tears in my eyes, I slowly step off the cliff and into an abyss. For a moment, no, less than that, I’m floating in the air with my arms and hands open, trying to hold on to the air as if it was a rope or a strand of hair. Open space is all around me, and I feel weightless, floating in a sea of nothing. I feel free and want to stay like this forever. And then I fall.
My heart races like a thoroughbred that’s suddenly come out from its gate and the air hits my mouth and gags me so that I can’t even scream. I’m frozen with fear as I anticipate the harsh certainty of the unforgiving hardness impacting against my soft mortal flesh. I feel a droplet of sweat fly off my brow and I wake up screaming for Jesus. Sweat is on my brow and my t-shirt is drenched. I hear my breath breaking the silence of the darkness. It is shallow, quick, mixed with panic.
My heart is still racing and I can’t shake the feeling that I’m still falling. I look around, trying to orient myself to the familiarity of my room and who I am. Even in the darkness of my bedroom, I can tell the speckles on the white ceiling that I have been accustomed to seeing for the last 20 years. I sit up slowly on my bed and take the time to process what I just went through. It was so clear and felt so real. My sheets are soaking wet with sweat. I stumble to the bathroom to wash the perspiration off my face. My hands find the light switch and flick on the bathroom lights.