I stood on the dock, at the edge of the pond, looking down into the dark black water. Poised to jump, but suddenly, I couldn’t. My body was frozen, but why? I had jumped into murkier waters than this. In fact, I had jumped into many a lake in my time. Just jumped in, without a care. Why, suddenly, was I afraid? My friend, bobbing comfortably on her float, assured me it was deep enough. Had I developed a mistrust of the universe?
Time stopped as I waited frozen on the edge, wanting to jump into the water, but unable to move.
My friend’s 12-year-old daughter climbed onto the dock and stood beside me. “Hold my hand,” she ordered, her long hair dripping water. “I’ll jump in with you.”
I held her hand, intending to drop it.
“Ready?” she asked.
“No,” I answered.
“Yes, you are,” she said confidently, with all of her young wisdom.
And as she jumped, in that split second of space where anything is possible, I felt the jolt of her hand holding firmly to mine and I knew I couldn’t fail her. There was nothing I could do but splash into the water with her and I held fast to her hand until we both came up to the surface to take a breath.
“See?” she said. “Easy.