The cliff appeared and slowly up I climbed.
Reaching for grip, then hold and pull;
Taking weight, the effort of each move
Balancing the pain of muscles taut with fear.
The rock was strong and still,
Supporting me to be myself.

Within a moment's pause
And from another place
There came a voice, a friend.
In rest from struggle
The sky around grew light;
Then back to seek another ledge.
The voice remained,
Warm, loving, and enticing,
Promising support.
I turned towards it, wondering;
But no, I have heard this before - or something like -
And still I must achieve the climb,
Reach up to what I know I can become.

It called me: "Turn and jump, fly free,
Come to me and I will take your fall.
Together we can go across the waves,
Play in the surf, and feel the ancient surge of life."

My concentration lost,
The grit beneath my hands was cutting into skin.
Now I should climb the cliff; stand on the height,
Be strong.

Or - could I feel the ocean's strength,
And with companion joyously explore
The rich emotion of the sea?

I turned to look at the cliff-face,
And, cold and dark as granite,
Where once it offered hope, it turned away from me.

I closed my eyes;
Released the hold, and let the world fall back.
Now only air, and light, and sick exhilarating plunge.
Tumbling in the pale sky,
I lost my place and sense of who I am,
In fear much greater than the climb.
Air rushed; I could not breathe
Nor say what I had done.
I trusted that within the sea
All would gently be explained.
The fall was long
And still I heard the voice
Between the somersaults of dizzy pain:
And each time felt anew the air beneath my arms, like wings.

But when I reached the sea
The voice was already gone.
The tide is out and I lie broken on the sand.


Made April 2006
by Elisabeth