All is well in this tiny corner of the world. All is peaceful.
Outside the open window where I sit, leaves drift playfully to the ground from trees growing more and more barren with each passing day. Yellow, gold, orange, splashes of red, autumn in its glory abounds with every glance. The forest floor is littered with fallen leaves waiting for winter's broom to sweep their colourful mess under her white blanket.
Rest my weary friends, the wind whispers to the trees. Rest. Spring will come soon enough. For now, rest.
I am resting.
Everyday since we've been here, I have traipsed down to the dock, stood at the end of the wooden slats that march out across the water and breathed. Deeply. Again and again until finally, with one deep breath, I let go of gravity and thrust my body out over the dock's edge to fall into the water.
Gasping, screaming with delight, I splutter to the surface, laughing and yelling in pure exhilaration.
Freezing yet invigorated, I swim a few strokes until my skin is tingling with the cold. No longer able to withstand the water's frigid temp, I scramble to the ladder affixed to the end of the dock and climb out.
The air is warm. Soft against my wet skin. I wrap myself in a giant towel and lay on the dock, soaking up the sun.
We've been fortunate. Fall has fallen and the sun burns down wrapping this section of Canada in unusually high temperatures for this time of the year.
And still, the water is freezing.
But it doesn't matter.
I leap, plummet into its depths and scream with delight.
I am alive.
I am alive.
No one else has ventured into the waters with me. (I think they think I'm crazy).
But there is something freeing, enlivening, exciting about that first cold snap of water against my skin. Something, peaceful and beautiful and uplifting in coming out of the waters refreshed to lie in the warm breeze carressed by sunlight against my skin.
I do it because I can. I do it because it's there.
I do it because I want to -- even when my mind is screaming, Step back! Step Back! Don't do it!
My mind doesn't know what my spirits knows.
Oh look, I say to my mind, as I stand at the end of the dock. Resistance is here. I see you fear lurking in the darkness of my trepidation, pulling me back from the edge. I see you.
And no matter how fast and furious my mind scrambles to talk me out of leaping into the ice cold water, I know I will jump.
Because no matter the fear, no matter my resistance, courage is present. Commitment. Desire. Passion. Laughter. Excitement. They are all here too, urging me on.
On, into life beyond the edge of the dock where I stand, out there, into the waters of life -- no matter the temperature, the clime, the calm seas or turbulent waters.
Life is waiting.
And life greets me, arms open wide, spirit lifting me up, waters holding me strong.
I leap because I am alive and leaping is all I can do when fear yells at me to stop and I know what it is I want to do, what my spirit knows I must do to be free, to feel alive, to fulfill my purpose, standing there on the end of the dock.
Ah yes, fear is present and so is courage. Always.