Friday, August 15, 2008


My spirit flew as I sat on the hood of my old Chevy Impala with my nine month daughter in my arms looking skyward, following the single engine airplane as it circled higher and higher. At one point the plane leveled out, flying straight into the sun then tipped it’s wings. This was the moment. I held my breath as six black dots fell out of the plane, free falling, speeding towards earth until I was sure they missed the mark. But they pulled their ripcords just at the right moment, blowing up into round parachutes looking like colored dandelions swinging in the breeze as they drifted down.

I loved watching the parachute jumpers from the Reese Air Force Base Jump Club as they floated down into the fields around the tiny airfield in Brownfield. They were my entertainment in this parched West Texas town. At home, I’d listen for the droning sound of the airplane making it’s way skyward and with a shout I’d drop what I was doing, gather up my daughter and fly out to the airfield.

I guess the soldiers figured me out so one day two of them came towards me introducing themselves and offered to teach me to jump and my heart jumped a beat. I couldn’t wait to get back and tell my husband and family that I was going to jump out of an airplane! But as life would have it, before my first lesson, the soldiers were transferred and we moved on. But I never lost that dream of jumping into the sky.

It was twenty-five years before I actually made that jump. Early one morning, not telling anyone, I drove to Loveland where I climbed into a single engine airplane with my jumpmaster. We flew up to 10,000 feet level where we looked level at Longs Peak. It was an incredible sight below my feet as I swung my legs out over the edge of the plane into cold thin air. My breath was sucked right down into my toes as I leapt into a freefall, the wind roaring in my ears. Whoa! What a rush! My mind couldn’t catch up to my falling body. Then, rip! I pulled the cord. The parachute opened with a jerk. I swung into pristine silence. Air came into my lungs with long slow breaths. Hanging in the quiet air I watched the earth gently rising to greet my newly discovered soul and I started laughing.


1 comment:

annette said...

I too have jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. What a rush. Great Story. Thanks for the memory!