• Celia Marion

DARING!

Updated: Aug 17

One of the very few childhood memories I have of my father is accompanying him to the rocky shores of the northern Atlantic Ocean. There I scampered over the boulders, laughing when the crashing waves splashed over me. I stopped now and then to listen to the thwock-swish, thwock-swish of the water tirelessly, endlessly carving caverns into the granite beneath my feet. I don't remember much about him. I only know he was there. I believe that those precious moments are at the root of my love for adventure and for dancing with the powerful forces of nature. There is something about taking a risk, about facing danger and one's fears, of even challenging death, that is absolutely life affirming.

I have recollections of many such experiences throughout my life's journey. Such as balancing a pack on my back while crawling across a log spanning a rushing river, or clinging to a rocky cliff over an incoming tide and anxiously holding my breath just before coaxing my body up over the edge, even of staring down a brown bear who was staring down me. I remember the strain of being in the midst of foaming rapids, delicately urging a fully loaded canoe to slip from its hard-stuck perch on a rock, and the enthusiasm of standing deliberately on a deserted beach in a storm, letting the surging waves grab at my legs, while I yelled with the pounding of the sea. It's like daring to come face to face with G-d.

My favorite dare happened one evening while I was standing at the top of a grassy hill, the kind of high, clear knoll that's perfect for kite flying. I watched the color of the sky turn, peacefully, from pale blue to the electric yellow that portends a thunder storm. The eerie glow silently advanced, transforming the deep jade of the earth to an amber hue. Cumulonimbus clouds, swelling in their darkness and height, gathered ominously on the hill across from me. Birds suddenly flocked and swirled overhead, piercing the stillness with their riotous calls. My dogs, restless, stayed close to my feet.

The increasing wind tugged and pushed at us, while whistling in the trees around the clearing. A few drops of rain splattered here and there in warning. People below us scurried to their cars, rolled up their windows and drove away. Then the birds, hidden now, were hushed. Suddenly, I became aware of the great curve of the earth beneath my feet, feeling it stretching far away to its other side below me. Together we were spinning through the Universe! Left alone, alone with the curving, turning earth, as the front formed in the heavens, from within my depths a defiance was tempted. I waited and watched. The electricity in the air increased then burst forth, zigging here and there, followed by the crashing crescendo of the cymbals of thunder.

How long could I stand there, rooted to that hill top? How close could I let the tumult come? Exhilaration took my breath away and I felt giddy. I felt I was in the company of the All Mighty and the protection of my ancestors. Perhaps they were even speaking to me. For the moment, I was invincible.The wetness, the wind, the flashing swords of fire encroached, pursued by the rumbling rolling from hill to hill. The air was drenched with an earthy, pungent sweetness. My bodily senses were quickened and engulfed. My Soul, cut loose and freed, soared as captain of the concourse. Time was trampled, destroyed; Infinite Oneness triumphant.

Then, with a rush, my sensibilities returned as I began to be seriously pelted by down-pouring rain! I let it soak my face before yielding. Turning, rather reluctantly, with the dogs pulling ahead, I, too, darted down the hill to our car, laughing and whooping all the way!


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