As we came back into our home port after a quick afternoon sail, I took my place at the bow of Soultide. My job there is to lasso the piling on the starboard side and cleat it off to secure the boat. I patiently waited as Claiborne honed in the nose of our girl and watched my piling get within range as we glided silently into our slip. “Ive got it!”, I preemptively yelled as I reached out for the rope. The boat, in a sudden fit of independence, stopped all forward motion and kept just far enough away from the piling to keep it out of my immediate reach. Not a problem, I thought to myself. I turned my head towards the stern where I could see in my peripheral Claiborne cleating off his lines (successfully). I called back, “I missed the line so I’m going to do a trust fall into the piling!” The silence that followed my declaration instantly translated in my mind as trust falling into the piling was a great idea and that I had his full support. It never occurred to me that his silence could mean he was assessing if he heard me correctly, as well as comprehend what trust falling into a piling actually entailed, and then taking a hasty inventory of the ensuing and likely injurious consequences that such an activity would most certainly result in. While these calculations were ticking in Clays mind, I was delightedly and without any thought to possible negative outcomes, beginning my trust fall.
When you are on a boat and apply pressure to an outside secondary, stationary object, you (and the boat) move and the object stays still. This is common sense, of which I appear to have very little. I bent at the waist and covered the distance that my arms couldn’t, just barely getting my palms to the piling. This felt like definite success for two seconds until I felt the boat begin to move away from the piling, responding to the force of my palms landing. I was just short of enough grip on the piling to where I couldn’t push once more to get myself upright again and so I gripped as hard as my little fingers would and stretching my upper body as far as I could. And then I started screaming. “CLAIBORNE, IM GOING IN!!” I shrieked, knowing I couldn’t grip anymore, feeling I couldn’t stretch my upper body an inch more and seeing the gap between the boat and the piling get wider and wider. I could almost hear his trust-fall-mind-calculation-thought-bubble pop as he watched one possible outcome take shape right before him and he sprang into action. He reached me just as my fingers were finally slipping completely off the piling and felt his arms wrap around my waist just as I felt my upper body started for the cold creek water below. Pulling me safely back over the lifelines he whispered, “That was a terrible idea.”
In many ways, this year has been all about trust falling. Closing my eyes and trusting that the universe would be there to catch me, trust falling into magical cabins and wonderful friends, home cooked meals and art projects, the man of my whole entire heart and the trip of a lifetime. The most important aspect of a trust fall isn’t about falling or catching, it’s about the in between. It’s after you’ve fallen, taken an action on faith and before you are caught. It’s the letting go, the trust. That’s where the magic happens.
I am planning on trust falling right into 2016, which sounds far less dangerous than into a piling. Happy New Year, readers! See you on the other side!