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A Goddess in Free Fall

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(Photograph courtesy of Julia M. Hayes and No Worries Farm)

I get lost when I gaze into this picture taken on my farm in Eastern Washington one frigid winter morning. The peace that comes over me when I stare and lose myself is immeasurable. Looking at this image I'm reminded of the feeling of surrender, which depending on the situation can feel horribly vulnerable or ultimately freeing. I've reached a place in life where I'd prefer to be free than resist the flow because of an incessant need to control its outcome.

I remember reading a teaching about letting go by Anthony De Mello. The imagery used is similar to what I describe in the narrative that follows. My intention for writing the piece is to remind you that when you surrender into falling, nothing but freedom occurs.

Free Fall

In her mind, she walks along the edge of something—a tree branch, the land, the water, the world. Her mind decides this precarious rim is a cliff. She looks at her feet powdered by this dry pale crumbly precipice. The image fails to soften the intensity of her racing heart. She feels on the edge. Being here is against her will. Pausing, she stares into something, nothing, squinting to flatten the curve of the vast view. She peers down into void, her eyes wide searching for reassurance—something, anything that will support her grounded need for control.

She bows at the waist hoping the intensity of her gaze will unravel her knotted innards. As she straightens to take a deep breath, the streudel-like ground beneath her feet gives way and she falls.

She silently screams with her eyes closed as her flailing arms reach for anything protruding, while her legs run, hoping to grasp enough land to escape this descent. The rush and speed of the air is oddly both warm and frigid. In a matter of a few blinks, she sees growth emerging from the side of the cliff. Jutting stones and gnarled tree roots withered like a crone. Frantically, she reaches for a root to arrest her fall. Her security lasts a second. The arthritic earthen finger gives way and it, too, begins to fall. She reaches for a stone but it pulls away from the cliff face like a hunk of bread torn from a loaf. She can’t help herself. Reaching, grasping, pulling, yanking to stop the fall and nothing helps.

Then she saw a light. The radiance slowing her descent. She relaxed a little. Her focus turned to her still legs and her arms extended outward no longer seeking. She was in free fall. At the moment of that awareness her gaze penetrated all directions and she noticed that everything was falling with her into a great nothing.

She felt like Alice in Wonderland falling down amidst everything dropping around her. Perhaps she was falling up. She could no longer tell and it no longer mattered. The cliff-side, that only moments ago held her weight, fell like a city building professionally demolished. It wasn’t a cliff she was on, although she could have sworn it was. Trees, bushes, birds, animals, and what looked like other people all falling. But looking farther and farther, the earth she thought able to hold everything nice and tight fell beside her. The moon, the sun, stars, planets—she imagined whole galaxies falling-rising.

What was she reaching for? What was she trying to hold on to? The warm splendor of relaxation settling into surrender was the greatest peace she had ever known. For a split second she thought she must be dead but then a smile erupted on her face when she realized that she was finally alive. She illuminated the edge upon which she was walking and falling into. It was the fine line separating pairs of opposites she learned to believe with such fervor. This hairline crack became the chasm into which she dropped and from which she returned into her life no longer needing to hang on. Upon this dividing line she learned to let go and be.

 




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I am a full-time stay at home Goddess mother, part-time organic farmer, artist, writer, Spiritualist, Jane-of-all trades

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