Leap Year

I seem to have gotten down to one post a month.  I suppose that happens.  And February, of course, was making me think of Leap metaphors. We almost made a big leap a few weeks ago by deciding to move into the cohousing community here in Fresno.  Our house was even up for sale.  But unfortunately the place we wanted to buy was taken by someone else before we could put in our offer. So our For Sale sign came down and our spirits kind of went down with it.

However, this weekend we got some tragic news from our old cohousing community in Portland.  One of our neighbors there took her life over the weekend. She leaped from a tall building. And my interest in leap metaphors vanished. I felt shocked at first, as one does when processing the fact that someone you know is no longer alive. Added shock that the person took their own life. Added shock about how she did it.  Just generally a whole lot of shock.

And then something else. I suppose it was an awareness of being alive. We take it for granted. We get caught up in how difficult it can be, being alive. But the air against one’s face, the blueness of the sky, and way it feels to take a breath. I remember that our friend who died had a favorite sculpture in Portland.  It was up on a hill in a park, and it was a mother swinging a child happily into the air. I’m remembering that for her, and for myself and for all of us. She was Quaker.  I know that Quakers talk about the inner light. For me it would be the Holy Spirit. And I think that sculpture is a good image for the loving creator who swings us up into the air of life and catches us, I believe, when we fall.

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