Leap of Faith

I WATCHED a dozen baby mallards follow their mother to the edge of a dock three feet above the water. Watched as she plunged in and encouraged them to follow, for their very first swim. And after a bit of peeping and shuffling back and forth at the precipice, they did. First one, high into the air and into the water, and each in turn, individually.
How much courage does it take to make a leap of faith? To try something brand new, and seemingly impossible? We have baby eagles high in a white pine tree and later this summer they will be making the same leap. We have watched them in the past, and it is always an extraordinary—yet ordinary—day. For a duckling, an eaglet. A person. Extraordinary because it is a day like no other, when it is suddenly required that you trust your wings, the air, the water, the world. Yourself. And ordinary because it comes to all of us, this day. Perhaps many times. But only once does it come for the very first time. When you have no idea what might happen. When your life changes. When Life calls you.

And you don’t have to answer. It can be dangerous, this leap. Fearsome prospects may await. A northern pike may lurk beneath the water. That first landing in a nearby tree may not go well. There are surely no guarantees. Except for one. If you don’t make the leap—the leap of faith—you will miss something wonderful.

Your life.

Without the wild, dangerous, impossible leap of faith you will—ironically—surely perish. And you will never know what it’s like to be a duck. Or an eagle. Or a real human being.

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