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Gallivanting The Globe

Chasing Whatcom Falls

UNITED STATES OUTLYING ISLANDS | Wednesday, 27 May 2015 | Views [100] | Scholarship Entry

“Jump, jump, jump...Just let go…You can do it…Jump, jump, jump!” The symphonic chanting only heightened the intensity of my struggle to let go. I stood frozen on the edge of a cliff as I watched others run past me, towards the edge, unrelenting in their stride, pushing off from the earth & into the sky, screaming to release the exhilaration that coursed through their veins.
My best friend convinced me to go on a spontaneous trip to Bellingham, Washington, a small college town 2 hours north of Seattle & just south of the Canada border. We spent the day roaming Whatcom Falls Park, beginning at the northern trailhead. Shortly after crossing a sandstone bridge across the first set of waterfalls, we arrived at the edge of a cliff. I looked down to see a smaller waterfall spilling into a large pool 60 feet below me. Every fiber of my being screamed “jump!” My heart & soul longed to be reunited with the fearless child within me. But my mind filled with doubt, reminding me of the adult I had transformed into—one that found safety in the walls I had built, comfort in suppressing my emotions, & predictability in a life without risks.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer wrote, “It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, & if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing. It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.”
I want to feel alive again and experience a moment free from the weight of responsibility, heartache, fear & worries. This was my moment. I took one last breath and stepped off the edge. Within seconds I felt the forceful rush of water consume my entire body. Adrenaline coursed through my veins, shooting me up out of the water. I swam to shore, struggling to catch my balance as I stood up, unstable from the shock to my nerves. I was shaking uncontrollably, tears were passionately flowing from my eyes, & I was clenching my arms, holding myself together. I was flooded with varying emotions as I processed the magnitude of this personal feat. I’ve suffered tragedies, loss, depression, anxiety, separation, stress, lack of confidence, self-doubt—you name it! Now I felt reconnected with the carefree child within & invigorated with greater courage & liveliness. I promptly scaled the rocky cliff and jumped one last time, screaming, “I’m alive!” This is where I found my own Fountain of Youth.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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