Hypergraphia is a condition that causes people to transcribe their thoughts uncontrollably. I don't suffer from it in the clinical sense, but I may be borderline. My blog is the cyber-wall where I spray paint my thoughts for all to see. By the way, if you came here directly through blogger --if your page has no yellow frames and no pretty pic of me in the top left corner -- you may want to visit my main site at www.hypergraffiti.com, where you can read this blog and much much more.


I'm Trudy Morgan-Cole, a writer from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. My books include "The Violent Friendship of Esther Johnson," "Esther: A Story of Courage," and "Deborah and Barak." I'm also a married mom of two, a teacher in an adult-ed program, and a Christian of the Seventh-day Adventist kind. I blog about writing, reading, parenting, teaching, spirituality, and shiny things that catch my eye.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Great Winds Across the Sky

So this was the weekend Jason and I belatedly celebrated our 11th anniversary. Every year we have this tradition where one of us plans a surprise for the other. This year it was my turn to plan something, so we went parasailing.

Until this summer, parasailing was something Newfoundlanders only did on vacation in Hawaii or Mexico or Florida. Which makes sense, when you think about it, because if you land in the water in Hawaii or Mexico or Florida, you're not so likely to die of exposure before the boat gets over to pick you up. But this year some enterprising local enterpreneur decided there was a market for parasailing in Newfoundland. After discovering that you launch from and land on the deck of the boat, with no contact with the water whatsoever, Jason and I were both curious about trying it.

I have always wanted to do something flight-like. Hang-gliding, parachute jumping, hot-air ballooning -- I'm just fascinated by non-motorized flight. Flying like we all fly in our dreams. The problem is that most of the means of achieving this goal are extremely expensive, rather risky, hard to arrange, and require a certain amount of skill.

Parasailing, on the other hand, is fairly low-risk as "extreme sports" go, and requires absolutely NO skill at all. Suddenly it arrived right at our doorstep -- and the price tag was affordable, for an anniversary treat. It was irresistible.

We had a perfect day -- warm, not too windy, sun sparkling on the waters of Conception Bay as the boat took us out between St. Phillips and Bell Island. Jason and I went up together in a double harness. The feeling as the sail lifted from the boat was pure exhilaration. Soon we were floating about 400 feet above the water, drifting through a cloudless blue sky. It was, without a doubt, one of the most wonderful and thrilling things I've ever done, and narrowly edges out tubing down a river in Tennessee for my favourite outdoor activity of all time. It was like every dream and fantasy I've ever had about flying come true. We stayed up about 15 minutes and I would happily have remained aloft all afternoon if we could!

One of the things that amazed me most was that although I'm very scared of heights, I didn't feel a trace of fear while parasailing. I think it's because, unlike rock climbing or even standing on a chair to change a light bulb, there was no question of keeping my balance or hanging on. There was nothing for me to do at all except sit back and enjoy the ride, trusting the boat and towline below, and the parasail above. Which, of course, led me to some Deep Thoughts about the appropriateness of doing this to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

I'm very fond of these lines, which I've seen variously described as an Ojibway proverb, a Chippewa poem, and an old Japanese saying:

Sometimes I go about pitying myself

When all the while I am being carried by great winds across the sky.

Whoever came up with that, I like it because it speaks to me about trust -- trusting God, trusting the people around you. I don't, actually, go about pitying myself much, but I am a bit of a control freak and I think the basis for that is a lack of trust -- I'm most comfortable in situations where I'm in charge. The thing that's always made me nervous about marriage (especially before I embarked on it) is that you can never be completely in control: there's this whole other person involved. I think sometimes I have been untrusting -- not so much of Jason, who is a very trustworthy person, but of the institution of marriage itself.

We've reached that stage in life now where, instead of getting invitations to friends' weddings and birth announcements for their babies, we hear news of friends' separations and divorces. It scares me how often two perfectly nice people with the very best of intentions just cannot seem to make marriage work, and to a mind like mine, that's disturbing. Because we are two very nice people with very good intentions, and what if that's not enough in the long haul?

The fact is, though, I am learning to trust. After eleven years of marriage, I am accepting that I cannot control every detail, and sometimes the ride is better when I just sit back and trust what's around me and beneath me and (especially) what's above me. God has been very good to Jason and me, and so far we've been very good to each other. And every day we laugh together, and I can't believe how much fun we're having. So this anniversary, as we soared through the air above the Atlantic Ocean, I was happy just to sit back, relax and enjoy every minute of this amazing and delightful ride.


Blogger Jamie said...

That sounds so exciting! I wish I could fly too!

10:48 PM  
Blogger Chris (mombie) said...

What a lovely reflection on your marriage. Congratulations to you and Jason.

The Man and I were married 10 years on August 9th, you are slightly ahead of us.:)

I'm afraid of heights too, but I've always wanted to try sky-diving for some reason. Go figure!

12:38 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

What a lovely way of celebrating. Nothing like symbolizing your long haul, 400ft over the Atlantic! I am terrified of heights too...so the thought that I could ever possibly enjoy that was quite far from my mind. Now I'll give it some more thought. Lovely pictures, of the cute couple too!!

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks and sounds like fun! Congrats belated on your anniversary!

Lori M

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Katrina Stonoff said...

Oh, what a lovely post. And that grin of yours of priceless.

One of my favorite memories was stunt flying (as a passenger!) in an open-cockpit biplane. Definitely motorized, but you still have wind blowing through your hair. I was about to go sky-diving when I found out I was pregnant with my oldest child.

So, yeah. I can relate. And I love how that saying fits with the parasailing and your thoughts about marriage.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very, very cool.

All we did on our anniversary was go out to dinner! Maybe next year we'll take a cue from the two of you and try something new and exciting.

Congratulations on 11 years.


11:53 PM  
Blogger TrudyJ said...

Thanks everyone for your comments and anniversary congrats. You should all try parasailing. In fact, for those of you not already here, you should all come to Newfoundland and try parasailing!!

7:28 AM  
Blogger Julia said...

hello there. i found your blog googling for that precise poem/prayer. i got a lot from what you shared about trust here, a stranger, as i embark on a new journey with my partner of three years. i have always wanted to glide/skydive too. lately i have had several flying dreams. maybe it's time to let go a little and trust! i hope things are well for you today.

12:55 PM  

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