Free Fall



Free Fall
My friend’s daughter leaped off of Victoria Falls Bridge in Southern Africa
with nothing but a harness and a thin chord to save her from landing in
a crocodile infested and churning river.

She felt a moment of ecstatic exhilaration, as the wind whistled past her,
as the river came closer, and closer -
until the bungee yanked her back into the air, and bounced her again, and again.

Knowing the risks, she chose to jump.
She said that that moment changed her life forever.
Her life will never be the same.

About a month later, an Australian woman took that same leap of faith.
As she flew toward the water, she too waited for the chord to pull her back into the air,
but it didn’t. It snapped, giving her speed and trajectory new meaning.

She hit the hard and unforgiving river unconscious
And, as the horrified onlookers watched, she just  - floated
Until – GASP – she came up for breath!

But her ordeal wasn’t over
because that same rope that was supposed to save her was now trying to drown her.
So she had to dive down into the river to free that rope from the rocks below.

Knowing the risks, she chose to jump.
Miraculously, she made it to the shore.
Her life will never be the same.

As teachers, we sometimes feel like the spectators on the bridge.
We strap you into the harness, we witness as you weave your rope.
We watch in mute wonder as you leap, courage in hand, off that high bridge.

We too wait for the moment when the rope will pull you back up
but, occasionally, we’ve also seen it snap.
We’ve held our breath during the free fall, and the harsh landing.

We cheer from a distance, hoping that the sound can travel,
and we wait, to see if consciousness will return,
to see if our student will swim for the river-bank.

We feel an overwhelming relief in the miraculous moment
when a student, who, against the odds, dives deep,
frees the wedged rope, and swims past the crocodiles.

Knowing the risks, you still choose to leap
And in that moment you change your life forever.
Your life will never be the same…and that choice inspires us all!


2 Responses to “Free Fall”

  1.   smithawyth Says:

    This inspired me for sure, especially the last bit! Excellent metaphor for teaching and learning.

  2.   Kami Mulzet Says:

    Thank you! A friend mentioned to me that it works for parenting, too. Even though I hadn’t written it with that in mind, as a parent I can see her point!

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