The course was a creek at Matthiessen State Park in northwestern Illinois. The creek was peppered with just enough stones to entice Jimmy and me to press on. We could hear a waterfall somewhere off in the distance.
No, my life wasn’t on the line; at the very least my shoes and several inches of my jeans would get a good soaking if the tops of the stones proved too slippery or too far apart for safe passage.
Jimmy had taken a different route; as is often the case, he has his own ideas about which path to take. There was no following in his footsteps or depending on him to get me through. I was on my own.
Safe passage; when had my life, my thinking been reduced to safe passage? When had the caution I’d often thrown to the wind come back in my face to cripple my thinking, my outlook, my options? Okay, maybe I was overanalyzing a bit.
Hell, it was just water I reasoned as the mental debate ensued. It was a beautiful morning too, with all the promise that comes with spring, including a day devoted to exploring the world beyond the safety of the predicable, the expected, the comfortable; beyond boring.
The world stood still as I grappled with my next step, and analysis paralysis. The choice seemed so miniscule and yet suddenly so profound.
It was anticlimactic, my leap of faith; no splash, no regret, no fanfare. Just another small moment of personal triumph that silently and surreptitiously tends to define the boundaries of my life; the opportunities, the joy, the satisfaction.
It was a moment that left me fully aware I’d much rather take the chance of being wet with wonder than settling for being a dried up prune safely ensconced in old age.