NORMAN — We were on a journey of discovery and adventure. The woods behind my Uncle William’s house provided the opportunity for my cousin Joan and me. We were preteen so who wanted to play in the confines of a yard when you could escape into the universe of a forest?
The possibilities were endless. So, we dashed here and there, waded through South Georgia’s dark tea colored streams, excitedly looking under rocks to see what creatures existed below, laughing and scouting for the next wonder waiting around the bend.
Suddenly, we stood looking over a ravine. The water dropped right before us. We eased to the edge and peered down marveling at the sight below. The waterfall was spectacular. How was this possible we wondered? Yet, although deep the ravine was not too wide. We could imagine that with real effort someone could take a running jump and safely land on the other side. I wondered nervously if this was an optical illusion. Then, without warning, Joan grabbed my hand and said with a knowing confident smile “We can make it.” I had my doubts but amazingly what came out of my mouth was “OK, if you say so.”
Holding hands and with zealous determination we took off running and jumped. We missed-judged and began to plummet. Falling but somehow still holding hands I turned to Joan, “I thought you said we can make it?” No comment, just her knowing confident smile. Down we went. Seconds later we hit the water. I remembered plunging deep as the darkness eagerly engulfed me. I could barely see the light above but that refracted ray was enough to give me direction and purpose. Air bubbles swirled all around me as I swam valiantly toward the light. I dared not look back into the dark abyss. The light shined brighter and brighter. I was getting close to the water’s edge and intuited that my cousin was about to do the same.