You Can't Take the Sky From Me

Today my canopy opened with me dangling above a thin, gray, cloud. It was an ephemeral thing, translucent, still in the process of coalescing some three thousand feet above the ground, more a bank of mist than a cloud at all. I doubt anyone on the ground could even see it.

As I glided gently over this evanescent bit of atmospheric moisture I passed directly between it at the sun and there, for a few heartbeats I could see the shadow of myself, hanging in air, my canopy and my body sharply outlined against the miasma. Around my shadow I could see a halo of color, a perfect, round rainbow encircling the impression of my shape.

I am not yet skilled enough to be allowed a freefall camera so I have no memento save my own recollection. Perhaps it’s better this way, the memory of something so lovely and so rare can live as a motivation for excellence, the possibility of such a sight pushing me to jump and jump and jump.

For those who keep wondering why I insist on repeatedly “jumping out of a perfectly good airplane,” picture that and it’s not so hard to understand.


peony said...

I'll try...and in many ways I do understand because I know you. But the same day you had this remarkable experience another young Georgia sky-diver, very experienced at 23 and on his 299th dive, lost his life when his chute failed. While your vision filled your heart, this other ripped my heart out. But I'll continue to try.

Starr Astronomer said...

Interesting post !! well said. found your name in a comment on Bad Astronomy . And checked out your site .