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.